“I like talking to people on the computer”: Outcomes of a home-based intervention to develop social media skills in youth with disabilities living in rural communities.

Parimala Raghavendra, Claire Hutchinson, Emma Grace, Denise Wood, Lareen Newman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the effectiveness of a home-based social media use intervention to enhance the social networks of rural youth with disabilities. Method: Participants were nine youth (mean age = 17.0 years) with disabilities from two rural Australian communities. The intervention consisted of providing appropriate assistive technology and social media training on individualised goals. Using mixed methods, quantitative (a single group pre-post) and qualitative (interviews with participants and their carers) measures were used to examine outcomes of training, individual experiences of the intervention, and changes to online social networks. Results: Participants increased their performance and satisfaction with performance on social media problem areas post-intervention; paired t-tests showed statistical significance at p <.001. There was also a significant increase in the number of online communication partners; Wilcoxon Signed Ranks showed statistical significance at p <.05. The interviews highlighted increased social participation, independence and improvements to literacy. Ongoing parental concerns regarding cyber safety and inappropriate online content were noted. Conclusions: The findings suggest that social media training is a feasible method for increasing social networks among rural-based youth with disabilities. To sustain ongoing benefits, parents need knowledge and training in integrating assistive technology and social media.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-123
Number of pages14
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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