How do people who stammer perceive the use of the internet for communicating and socialising?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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As a society we now have the ability to communicate and socialise on the internet through the use of social network sites. Little research exists which directly explores the perceptions of people who stammer (PWS) with regards to such sites. Research relating to the use of such sites was therefore evaluated and applied PWS from a number of perspectives and suggested a number of possible perceptions for PWS. The aim of this study was to therefore gain an insight into the perceptions of PWS in relation to the use of such sites for communicating and socialising. Informal discussions were conducted with 9 participants via the use of the private messaging systems found on social network sites and analysed qualitatively to gain a deeper understanding of their perceptions. The findings of this study indicate a consistent positive perception by participants towards social network sites as a means of providing a valuable source of support and sense of community. They also revealed a possible connection between this and the establishment of a strong sense of self-identity amongst the participants. This strong sense of self identity was discovered through some of the participants’ frustration at not being able to express their full identity online. This frustration was also found to conflict with the idea also identified by participants, that the use of social network sites reduced the psychological stress experienced in face to face interactions. Such results showed social network sites as potentially being a valuable tool in terms of remediation in relation to providing support and establishing a strong sense of self-identity amongst PWS. However, they were also identified as being a source of frustration for those PWS who feel they are unable to express their full identity while using them.
B.Sc.(Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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