The cyberspace usage in students with hearing impairment and their motivations and their feeling of loneliness
Background and Aim: Social networking sites (SNSs), known in terms of cyberspace, are a very popular and accepted aspect of technology. Internet is more useful for hearing-impaired children and adolescents than the other users because of the type of communication and its possibility of hiding their disabilities. This study aimed to determine the relationship between using cyberspace and the motivation of hearing impaired adolescents and their feeling of loneliness.
Methods: Eighty five hearing impaired students with age range of 12-23 and mean age of 16.28±2.35 years took part in this study. All students were selected from special schools in Tehran city. Dehshiri loneliness scale and the questionnaire of characteristics of hearing impaired users of Social Networking Sites were used to collect data.
Results: The results showed that despite inferquent use of cyberspace for learning among hearing-impaired students, there was no relationship between motivation of using cyberspace and feeling of loneliness. Also, no correlation was found between feeling of loneliness and their activities in cyberspace except for chatting with other hearing impaired individuals (p>0.05). In other words, chatting with hearing impaired individuals had a positive significant correlation with feeling of loneliness (p=0.020).
Conclusion: Based on the obtained results, hearing-impaired individuals normally chat with their hearing-impaired peers when they feel lonely. Also, it was found that the use of cyberspace for learning is rare in hearing-impaired students. Thus, it is necessary for teachers and experts to provide appropriate facilities and useful internet use for these students.
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