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ERIC Number: EJ953040
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0885-6257
Virtual Friendships and Social Distress among Adolescents with and without Learning Disabilities: The Subtyping Approach
Sharabi, Adi; Margalit, Malka
European Journal of Special Needs Education, v26 n3 p379-394 2011
Many adolescents spend time online, communicating with friends, family members and strangers, and these social activities have been often related with their loneliness experience. The goals of this study were to examine the social distress expressed by adolescents with and without learning disabilities (LD) and to distinguish between unique adolescents' profiles, identified by their different types of social participation online. The sample consisted of 887 high school students, grades 10-12: 213 students with LD (110 boys, 103 girls) and 674 students without LD (334 boys, 340 girls). Students reported their loneliness, affect and two types of online social activities: online communication with people that they know, and virtual friendships with people that they have never met. As expected, students with LD reported higher levels of loneliness and negative affect. However, they did not differ in their internet social participation. Since virtual friendship was among factors that predicted loneliness, four clusters were identified among adolescents, with the loneliness measure and virtual friendships as their defining variables. By showing the complexity of the relationships within different profiles, the results demonstrated the advantages of clarifying adolescents' individual differences. (Contains 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 11; Grade 12; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel