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A Conceptual Framework for Electronic Socio-Emotional Support for People with Special Needs

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International Journal of Rehabilitation Research Volume 32, Number 4, ISSN 0342-5282


In recent years an increasing number of people under psychological distress turn to computer-mediated communication for support. A related development is the increasing number of computer-mediated support groups in which people meet, share interests, and exchange socio-emotional support through text-based messages on computer networks. To date, a few policy makers and researchers have addressed the phenomenon of social-emotional support through electronic communication for populations with special needs. This paper presents a conceptual framework developed to characterize an electronic socio-emotional support process for people with special needs. The electronic socio-emotional support framework is based on a review of the literature as well as the results of a pilot study, which examined the use of an electronic mentoring intervention program based on mutual self-disclosure and friendship between mentors and youth with special needs. The implications of the electronic socio-emotional support framework for people with special needs are discussed.


Shpigelman, C.N., Reiter, S. & Weiss, P.L. (2009). A Conceptual Framework for Electronic Socio-Emotional Support for People with Special Needs. International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 32(4), 301-308. Retrieved September 25, 2020 from .

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