Effects of intergenerational training on student and parent attitudes toward using the Internet
Micki Morgan Caskey, University of South Florida, United States
University of South Florida . Awarded
As a powerful information and communication network, the Internet affects students and their parents differently. Many parents are uncertain of its value and are reluctant to advocate for the Internet's use in school. In contrast, most young adolescents are enthusiastic and eager to access and use the Internet. In this study, the investigator explores an intergenerational training approach to bridge the gap between student and parent attitudes toward the Internet. The intergenerational approach positions students and their parents as simultaneous co-learners of the effective and ethical use of Internet technologies.
This study was designed to examine the effect of training conditions, intergenerational and separate groups, on the attitudes of middle level students and their parents. Fifty-four pairs of students and their parent were randomly assigned to the intergenerational training condition and fifty-one student/parent pairs were randomly assigned to the separate training condition. Information was gathered using observations of the training conditions, pretest and posttest surveys completed by the students and parents, and interviews with twelve students, parents, and teachers.
Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data pertaining to the student and parent attitudes toward the Internet. An increase in mean scores from pretest to posttest for all categories showed that the intergenerational condition had a positive effect on student and parent attitudes. Then, independent t-tests were conducted to determine whether the mean scores of the treatment conditions were different. The data revealed parent attitudes in the intergenerational condition were more positive than those in the separate condition, while student attitudes were not statistically different for treatment condition. Next, a one between, two within ANOVA design was used to examine the level of interaction among treatment condition, pretest/posttest, and student/parent variables. Overall, significant interaction effects indicated that the parent attitudes were more positive in the intergenerational condition, while student attitudes were more positive in the separate condition. Qualitative data gathered from the student, parent and teacher interviews, provided insights into the attitudes of students, parents, and teachers toward Internet use.
Although this study produced preliminary evidence to support the use of the intergenerational training approach, more research is needed.
Caskey, M.M. Effects of intergenerational training on student and parent attitudes toward using the Internet. Ph.D. thesis, University of South Florida.
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