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Title: Motivating teenage girls' take-up of digital opportunities : the role of peers, programmes, and parents
Author: Mishkin, Allison Fine
ISNI:       0000 0004 8502 8896
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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As technology mediates more facets of teenage life, many worry about technology's impacts, particularly onto young adolescent women who are often depicted as vulnerable. However, by equipping teenage girls with the skills to constructively engage with digital content and to be resilient in their Internet use, we can prepare girls to be capable of seizing online opportunities and more resistant to online risks. However, much literature on teenage technical empowerment, particularly for girls, models one aspect of the student's sociocultural environment, not the whole system in which they operate. Some studies focus on individual factors that might predispose a child to positive behaviours, such as technology access, demographic indicators, or individual psychopathology. Other research focuses on one aspect of the child's environment - whether their school environment, home environment, or social environment. Those studies that do explore the social system are not rooted within the psychological discipline. My thesis aims to bring their theories to hypothesis testing, using the methods associated with psychological inquiry. Moreover, existing literature on online opportunities focuses either on concrete measures of rewarding actions or on the psychological traits necessary for their take-up. No literature explores how actions and underlying psychology might be linked. The studies included in this thesis focus on how individuals' motivation for technology predicts socially-desirable outcomes. Recognizing these two literature gaps, my thesis applies self-determination theory to assess how social settings influences the take-up of online opportunities and technical education. It consists of three discrete studies, each modelling one common method of the psychological inquiry. Study 1 utilizes existing representative datasets from cross-sectional surveys to explore hypotheses connecting individual-level predictors with online opportunity, showcasing that psychological factors are as impactful as demographic and social factors. Then, study 2 runs a field experiment at the Bit by Bit conference, showcasing how students' need satisfaction influences the take-up of academic study. Finally, study 3 pilots an SDT-based intervention with parents of teenagers to showcase how relatedness influences their decision to create supportive environments for their children's technology use.
Supervisor: Przybylski, Andy ; Nash, Vicki Sponsor: Oxford Internet Institute Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available