The positive role of internet use for young people with additional support needs: Identity and connectedness

Bannon, Stephanie, McGlynn, Tracy, McKenzie, Karen and Quayle, Ethel (2015) The positive role of internet use for young people with additional support needs: Identity and connectedness. Computers in Human Behavior, 53. pp. 504-514. ISSN 0747-5632

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This article documents findings, from one of the first studies in this field of research, considering young people with Additional Support Needs’ use of the internet and how this might contribute to the development of identity and social connectedness. Six focus groups, including 36 young people with Additional Support Needs (aged 13–18) were completed. Transcribed group discussions were analysed using Framework Analysis. Two themes were developed: ‘Identity and Connectedness’ and ‘Issues related to Risk’. The theme ‘Identity and Connectedness’ is detailed in the current article and encompassed three sub-themes (implicit belonging, explicit belonging and competence). The use of the internet by adolescents in the current study appears to allow the young people to engage in activities which support the development of identity, competence and a sense of connectedness and belonging within a social network, essential to healthy development and psychological well-being and areas that may present a challenge for this population in offline environments. Findings also indicate a need to consider how best to support this group, in relation to understanding the role of supervision, the range of cognitive ability within this population and additional social pressures, which may impact on safe and effective internet use and this populations’ ability to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Available online 15/04/15.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Additional support needs; Internet; Identity; Connectedness; Competence; Psychological impact
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Karen McKenzie
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2015 13:59
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 17:28

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