Virtual Family Life Education: A Qualitative Study of Father Education on the World Wide Web

By Morris, Stephanie N.; Dollahite, David C. et al. | Family Relations, January 1999 | Go to article overview

Virtual Family Life Education: A Qualitative Study of Father Education on the World Wide Web


Morris, Stephanie N., Dollahite, David C., Hawkins, Alan J., Family Relations


Virtual Family Life Education:

A Qualitative Study of Father Education on the World Wide Web*

As the World Wide Web continues to expand more families will be using this medium for information on parenting. This study qualitatively analyzed six web sites that did family life education (FLE) with fathers. These sites used instrumental/technical, interpretive, and critical-emancipatory approaches to education. General differences in practice between the sites were identified in relation to the site's producer(s). All sites were also compared in terms of how they used best practices with fathers, were developed, and their numbers of users. Suggestions for Web-based FLE approaches, ethics, and practice are given as well as future research topics.

he Internet could be considered one of the largest and fastest growing communities on earth (Jones, 1995) and consequently is one of the fastest growing potential audiences for family life education (FLE). Because of the increased number of users and the easier international connections created by the Internet, this medium offers itself as a unique though complicated arena for family life education. There are a variety of ways to access and provide information on the Internet including email, file transfer protocol (FTP), listserves, bulletin boards, and web sites (or home pages). The most recent and popular form of Internet interaction takes place on that part of the Internet known as the World Wide Web (Web). The Web consists of web sites (home pages) which are collections of documents that are stored on a computer that runs software enabling it to be accessed by anyone connected to the Internet. As of October 2, 1998 there were over 4.8 million registered Web sites with a weekly growth rate of over 75,000 (http://www.domainstats.com).

There are nearly 3 million commercial sites (.com) on the Web and only about 4,800 educational sites (.edu) (http://www. domainstats.com). A great deal of parenting information is currently available on the Web. An October 1998 Yahoo search using the keyword "parenting" found 483 sites (http://www.yahoo.com) and based on the number of "users" or "hits" indicated by these various sites, hundreds of thousands of people are using the Web for parenting information. The majority of Web users (62.6%) access the Web from home (http://www.gvu.gatech.edu/user surveys) which may make it a convenient gateway for influencing families. This article reports the results of a qualitative study that evaluated six Web sites related to fathering, and discusses conceptual, ethical, and practical issues of Web-based FLE.

Fathers and Web Education

Fatherhood is an increasingly important issue in the social sciences (Blankenhorn, 1995; Coltrane, 1996; Doherty, 1997; Doherty, Kouneski, & Erickson, 1998; Hawkins & Dollahite, 1997b; Lamb, 1997; Parke, 1996; Popenoe, 1996). In a 1995 telephone survey conducted by the A.C. Neilsen Company, it was found that out of 4,200 respondents, 66% of Internet users were men (Bailey, 1996). Recent data suggest that the proportion of females using the Web has steadily increased to about 39% in 1998 (www.gvu.gatech.edu/user-surveys/) but the majority of users continue to be men who average about 35 years old. Since so many Web users are fathers or potential fathers, doing research on Webbased education that focuses on fathering is particularly timely.

In addition to expanding ways to help fathers, this research begins to explore and document what exists and what is possible for FLE on the Web. We are unaware of published research done on fathers on the Web or online FLE for fathers. By studying FLE Web sites focused on fathers, scholars and practitioners can better understand and communicate the possibilities, limitations, and implications of using this medium to reach fathers. Moreover, many family life educators are using the Web to do FLE. It will be useful to begin to formulate some ethical guidelines, review different approaches, and give some ideas about what might work well on the Web. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Virtual Family Life Education: A Qualitative Study of Father Education on the World Wide Web
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.