A conceptual framework for electronic socio-emotional support for people with special needs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-308
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Rehabilitation Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Computer-mediated communication
  • Disabilities
  • Electronic socio-emotional support
  • Impairments
  • Online support
  • People with special needs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'A conceptual framework for electronic socio-emotional support for people with special needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this