An investigation into the experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities of online risks: Online contract, conduct, content and contact, including online negative comments and/or messages
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AbstractBackground: Despite numerous benefits to being online, a digital inequality exists; where those with intellectual disabilities often have their internet access and use restricted, as a result of barriers, such as gatekeeping (Chadwick et al., 2013, 2017). Large gaps in the literature exist, in relation to the online risks which people with intellectual disabilities may encounter and how experiencing online risks may impact people with intellectual disabilities. In better understanding the online risks experienced, and how they impacted people with intellectual disabilities, we can better support people with intellectual disabilities to manage these threats as part of a positive risk-taking approach to internet membership, thus closing the digital inequality divide (Seale, 2014; Seale & Chadwick, 2017). This thesis addresses these gaps and seeks to contribute to counselling psychology’s social justice agenda by improving digital inclusion, through better understanding online risks for adults with intellectual disabilities. Method: Fifteen adults with intellectual disabilities were interviewed remotely using semi-structured interviews. Findings: The data from the interviews were analysed using Template Analysis, which evidenced four main themes: 1) The Types of Online Risk; 2) The Psychological Impact of Online Risk; 3) The Management of Online Risk and 4) The Support for Online Risk. The study findings offer novel insights, where all participants had knowledge of online risks, and those who had experienced victimisation reported experiencing a wide range of negative emotions immediately following the event, but in some instances, there was also personal growth, and the majority of participants were able to delineate different coping strategies which they use to manage online risks. The implications and recommendations based on the findings for practitioners including counselling psychologists are outlined. The researcher provided an original contribution to knowledge in the form of phenomenological experiences of adults with intellectual disabilities of online risks, including online negative comments and/or messages.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Counselling Psychology.
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- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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