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ERIC Number: ED527407
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 183
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-0350-2
Parental Perceptions of Home Internet Use among Rural African American Families
Smith, Jeananne Oldham
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Grambling State University
Despite the growth of home Internet use over the past decade, disparities still exist among certain socioeconomic groups of the population. Rural, lower socioeconomic and African Americans fall further behind in technology access than any other group. The purpose of this ex post facto qualitative study was to investigate parental perceptions concerning the use of home Internet among rural African-American families. The Louisiana Internet Connection (LaRINC) was inspired by the U.S. Department of Commerce's 1998 publication, Falling Through the Net II, which revealed that rural low-income African Americans were the least "connected" group in America. LaRINC partnered with local African Americans churches in six of the poorest rural parishes in North Louisiana to provide home computers, Internet access, and training to 50 families with school-aged children. This study explored two different sets of data that was collected through questionnaires and home Internet use during the LaRINC Project. The data consist of responses from structured interviews conducted four times as well as tracking data of all participating families' Internet access over a three-year period. The nominal data was corroborated through triangulation to ascertain if changes in parental perceptions were affected by certain types and large numbers of educational Internet access. Data analysis was conducted by coding responses in a spreadsheet for recurring themes to immerge. The research questions used to focus this study are listed below: 1. Do parents believe their children improve in school because of home Internet access? 2. Do parent perceptions of the Internet and its potential benefits change over time? 3. Do the types of Internet activities accessed affect parental perceptions of home Internet access? Changes over time did occur with an increase from the first to second interview and a drop of positive parental perceptions for the third and fourth interview averages. Forty-seven of the families from this study showed an increase of time spent on the Internet over this three-year period. Parents believed that home Internet benefited their family and their children's academic performance. They also said that grades improved and that their children did homework more consistently. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Louisiana