Date of Award
Master of Science
Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication
Today's experts encourage serious conversations between parents and children about the risks of online activities, including sexual predators, identity theft, and bullying. This study gathers qualitative data regarding effective communication strategies parents have adopted to alert and educate their adolescent children about personal safety risks online. To what extent do parents and children agree about house rules regarding Internet use? Are there discrepancies in these two parties' views regarding what are unsafe and acceptable online habits? This study tests the tenets of social learning theory to discern the impact of parental modeling behaviors such as effective rule making and punishments. It also examined the extent to which parent and child views are congruent and are in agreement over Internet use rules and practices at home. To gather data, ten mother-adolescent child dyads were interviewed face-to-face.
The participants report a number of Internet safety practices at home. These include large doses of anecdotes and lessons from parents, the integration of lesson learned from public school programs into house rules, and parental access to children's online accounts. Parents also report using filtering and blocking software, setting children's online accounts for maximum privacy, acting as "friends" on social networking sites, and children's participation in extra-curricular activities. Suggestions to improve parental monitoring practices are offered.
Kristin M. Hopper-losenicky
Hopper-losenicky, Kristin M., "Risk communication in the Internet Age: Parental challenges in monitoring the Internet use of adolescents" (2010). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 11790.