Date of Award

7-23-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Beatrice S. Fennimore, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sue A. Rieg, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine parents' perceptions of their role in supervision of their children's use of technology and their reported responses to events in which their children are cyberbullying oppressors, victims, or bystanders. The theoretical perspectives such as Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological theory, Bandura's (1977) social learning theory, and Crick and Dodge's (1994) social information processing theory served as framework for developing the research. An explanatory mixed methods approach was utilized to examine parents' perceptions. The data collection consisted of a 28-question survey, which was administered to 95 parents in a quantitative phase, followed by personal phone interviews which were conducted with 14 parents in a qualitative phase. The results indicated the depth of the impact of technology on children as reported by parents. Gaming, using technology as a communication tool, utilizing technology for school, and the availability and accessibility of technology were seen to have the greatest impact on the lives of the children. Parents recognize that cyberbullying is taking place through cell phones, social networking, and e-mails. In order to prevent cyberbullying incidents from occurring, many parents indicated that they supervise their child's online activities or discuss appropriate Internet use. However, almost half of parents did not have filters and software programs installed on their computers. Parents also indicated that if they were to find out about participation in cyberbullying incidents, a conversation would take place between the parents and child, in addition to the removal of technology. Results from the qualitative research indicated parents' concerns regarding cyberbullying, difficulty in supervising all use of technology by children, and lack of supervision by parents of other children. The study concluded that more attention should be given to parents in school bullying programs. There is also a need to provide education to parents on how to respond to cyberbullying. Parents need to create supervisory plans that include conversations between themselves and their children and also evaluate the games and websites that their children are utilizing.

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