Internet and cell phone usage patterns among young adults with intellectual disabilities (2017)

J Appl Res Intellect Disabil. 2017 Jul 24. doi: 10.1111/jar.12388.

Jenaro C1, Flores N1, Cruz M2, Pérez MC2, Vega V3, Torres VA4.



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.


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.


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.


The framework of support needs of people with disabilities should be considered to promote healthy Internet and cell phone use.

KEYWORDS: assessment; cell phone use; intellectual disabilities; internet addiction; internet use; youth

PMID: 28737287

DOI: 10.1111/jar.12388