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Internet and cell phone usage patterns among young adults with intellectual disabilities

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Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities

Published online on


Background The risks and opportunities associated with the use of technologies are of growing research interest. Patterns of technology usage illuminate these opportunities and risks. However, no studies have assessed the usage patterns (frequency, duration, and intensity) and related factors in young people with intellectual disabilities. Methods Questionnaires on Internet and cell phone usage patterns, the Internet Over‐Use Scale and the Cell‐Phone Over‐Use Scale, as well as the Beck Depression Inventory were filled out in one‐on‐one interviews of 216 youth with intellectual disabilities. Results Young people with disabilities make more social and recreational rather than educational use of these tools, and show higher rates of excessive use of both technologies than a comparison group of 410 young people without disabilities. Also, their overuse is associated with other unhealthy behaviors. Conclusion The framework of support needs of people with disabilities should be considered to promote healthy Internet and cell phone use.