Table of contents
Table of contents
List of figures
List of appendices
RESEARCH TOPIC: LEARNER BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO THE INTERNET: A CASE STUDY OF RIMUKA 3 HIGH SCHOOL IN KADOMA, ZIMBABWE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH AIMS
1.5 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.8 DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.9 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
1.10 DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
2.1 TYPES OF MEDIA MOSTLY EXPOSED TO LEARNERS
2.2 INTERNET CONTENT EXPOSED TO LEARNERS
2.3 BEHAVIORS OBSERVED AMONG LEARNERS DUE TO EXPOSURE TO INTERNET CONTENT
2.4. IMPACT OF INTERNET ON STUDENTS
2.5 SUMMARY OF THE RELATED LITERATURE REVIEW AND RESEARCH GAP
3.1 RESEARCH APPROACH
3.2 RESEARCH DESIGN
3.3 POPULATION OF THE STUDY
3.4 SAMPLING PROCEDURES
3.4.1. SAMPLING OF STUDENTS
3.4.2. SAMPLING OF TEACHERS
3.5 DATA COLLECTION METHODS
3.5.1 QUESTIONNAIRES FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS
3.5.2 UNSTRUCTURED INTERVIEWS
3.6 VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY/ ENSURING TRUSTWORTHINESS
3.7 DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
3.8 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
4.1 RATE OF RETURN OF THE QUESTIONNAIRES DISTRIBUTED TO THE RESPONDENTS
4.2 DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION OF RESPONDENTS
4.2.1. LEARNER PARTICIPATION BY GENDER
4.2.2. REPRESENTATION OF PARTICIPANTS BY AGE
4.2.3. TEACHERS DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION
4.3. TEACHERS EXPERIENCE IN VARIOUS FIELDS
4.3.1. TYPES OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA GADGETS EXPOSED TO LEARNERS
4.4. CONTENT EXPOSED LEARNERS
4.5. BEHAVIORS OBSERVED ON STUDENTS DUE TO EXPOSURE TO THE INTERNET
4.6. RESPONDENTS’ SUGGESTIONS ON HOW TO REDUCE STUDENTS' HARMFUL EXPOSURE TO THE INTERNET
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
5.2 SUMMARY OF THE RESEARCH FINDINGS
5.5 SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY
To my Brother and best friend Sheunesu Flackson this is for you, that you may be empowered and inspired to take your next academic challenge, I know you can do it!
To my Love Hope Princess you are my joy, my pride and my identity
To my Mom and Dad, thank you for ever encouraging the Love of Knowledge
To my beautiful sisters, Cynthia, Sharon , Fortunate and Spiwe, You are awesome and an Inspiration
First and for most, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to Mr J.Soda, my supervisor , for his unreserved encouragement, constrictive comments, criticism and supporting me with different references material in conducting this study from designing the research project up to its completion.
Next to the almighty God, I am also grateful to my beloved Hope Princess Chakupa, and the whole Flackson Family for their full support and encouragement.
I would like to extend my vigorous thanks to individuals who co-operated with me in the field work, all teachers and participant students. Last but not least, I thank everyone who helped me and my friends for their unreserved moral and material support.
The goal of this research is to investigate and analyze learner behavior problems associated with exposure to the internet. The focus area of the research is Rimuka 3 high school located in Kadoma. Rimuka 3 High School is an urban school and most learners have access to electronic gadgets that allow them to access the internet. The researcher has observed that learners have developed some behavioral problems which can be traced to their accessing of internet as some of the behaviors are imminent of cyber cultures. The target population involved a total number of 70 learners derived from both advanced and ordinary level Classes. The School at the time of research had 62 teachers of which only 15 Teachers are involved in the study. Teachers in discipline and counseling department were sampled because they were custodians of behavior and often met students who had behavior issues. They also kept records on which student they had punished and why. Senior Masters and Senior Ladies are the ones who are mainly involved in the counseling of learners along with the disciplinary committee. The disciplinary committee consists of 5 teachers. Basing on the findings of the study, it was recommended that the school administration and teachers in charge of guidance and counseling departments need to inform students about the harmful effects of the internet and excessive use of electronic gadgets.
LIST OF FIGURES
Fig 4.1. Learner participation by gender
Fig 4.2. Leaner participation by age
Fig 4.3. Teacher representation by gender
Fig 4.4. Teacher Qualifications
Fig 4.5 Teacher experience in Guidance and counseling
Fig 4.6 Types of media gadgets exposed to learners
Fig 4.7. Results on whether schools enable students to use electronic media
Fig 4.8 Extend of content exposed to leaners
Fig 4.9. Internet exposure and learner behavior change
LIST OF APPENDICES
Appendix 1: Student Questionnaire
Appendix 2: Teacher Questionnaire
CHAPTER 1 RESEARCH TOPIC: LEARNER BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO THE INTERNET: A CASE STUDY OF RIMUKA 3 HIGH SCHOOL IN KADOMA, ZIMBABWE
In 2003, according to the International Telecommunications Union, the percentage of people who had access to the internet stood at 0.3%. This percentage rose steadily from 0.3% to 46.5%. Internet users in 2003 were at 50 000 and the number of users who had access to the internet in 2016 rose to 6,759,032. This is a clear illustration on how the internet has managed to penetrate many households. Young people are at the center stage in the use of internet. The internet is an inseparable part of today`s educational system the use of internet among young people have increased tremendously in the 21st century. More learners have now access to the internet more than ever before. The expansion of this access to the internet has brought about its share of positives and negatives. The internet has allowed learners to collaborate with their peers through different media platforms such as Facebook, twitter and various blogs and chat rooms. The internet has been made easy access to information and communication. Despite these developments, it had become worrisome for both teachers and parents on how the internet has led to the development of anti-social behaviors, deviant behaviors, drug use, violence and bullying. Exposure to the internet has led to many learners indulging in early sexual activities. Most of the time as observed, learners access adult sites and spend most of their time on pornographic sites which in turn promote unwanted behaviors as well.
The goal of this research is to investigate and analyze learner behavior problems associated with exposure to the internet. The focus area of the research is Rimuka 3 high school located in Kadoma. Rimuka 3 High School is an urban school and most learners have access to electronic gadgets that allow them to access the internet. The researcher has observed that learners have developed some behavioral problems which can be traced to their accessing of internet as some of the behaviors are imminent of cyber cultures. The dissertation will focus on the various behavior problems associated with the exposure to internet and their possible effects both to the academic achievement as well as social interaction and suggest possible remedies to curb such behaviors and ensure that learners have an awareness of cyber wellness.
Chapter one of the study gives the background of the study, statement of the problem, research assignments, aims and objectives, research questions, significance of the study, delimitation of the study and the various definition of terms which will be used in the research.
Chapter 2 will review the related literature and identify the knowledge gaps in this area of study as well as proposing ways in which this research will cover those gaps.
Chapter 3 of the research will focus on the research methodology.
Chapter 4 will be data presentation and analysis.
Findings, recommendations and conclusions will be summarized in chapter 5.
1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Globalization and propagation of media are among the key factors that have defined and shaped the current generation of young people. El-tawilasahar (2003) observes that in many countries, kids have access to a greater portion of multimedia alternatives than ever before ranging from conventional newspapers and magazines; radio stations; satellite and cable TV channels; the internet, computer and video games.
In Zimbabwe, Telone, was the first telecommunications company to be established that provided telecommunication services. The demand for the service provided by TelOne increased daily leading to the establishment of other Telecommunication networks such as Econet, Zol ,NetOne among others. In the mid-90s Zimbabwe connected to the World Wide Web. In 1997, Zimbabwe introduced mobile telephony which saw a revolution in the way communicated. Between 2018 and 2013, mobile network companies started to avail broadband services, providing end users with access to high speed connections.
Consequently, youth are spending increasing amounts of time using electronic media and the internet. As a result, this has led to a phenomenon of electronic aggression perpetrated through technology such as harassment or bullying (teasing, telling lies, making fun of someone, making rude or mean comments, spreading rumors, or making threatening or aggressive comments) that occurs through email, a chat room, instant messaging, a website (including blogs), or text messaging.
A research contacted by Lopez (2009 showed excessive use of electronic media by learners in the United States of America. The research showed that most learners spend most of their time watching television as well as using their cellphones to chat as well as streaming online media. Lopez did illustrate that most young people are exposed to media such as televisions which in turn have undesirable negative impacts.
Adebayo, Udegbe and Sunmola (2006) examined the influence of gender and Internet use on the sexual behavior orientation of young adults in Nigeria. This study also illustrated that the use of internet has undesirable outcomes in most instances as it led to gender stereotypes as well as leading young people to indulge in early sexual activities. The study also portrayed that young people especially boys tend to treat their female counterparts as inferior, a situation they witness in media platforms and content on the internet especially music and videos.
Despite the varied advantages brought forward by the advent of the internet and new technology care givers and educators had expressed concern about the dangers young people can be exposed to through these technologies. Consequently, there can be adverse effects posed to young peoples’ behaviors as a result of unlimited exposure to the internet in Zimbabwe. Therefore, considering the increasing exposure of learners to newer forms of media especially the internet, greater accessibility of foreign media and programming, less formal suppression and management in many parts of the world, there is need to carry out a research on how this could be influencing their behavior.
The issues of sneaking in cell phones in schools, cheating in exams and general indiscipline like disobeying orders from teachers have not been fully curbed by institutions in the district. Other behaviors include drug and substance abuse, use of vulgar language, scanty dressing, rebelliousness, violence and aggression, acute laziness, insensitivity to morals and harassment among the students themselves.
According to Finkelhor et al (as quoted by Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004) Internet harassment has now become an issue that affects the both the health and emotional well-being of youngsters. Youngsters are said to experience nasty comments or to embarrass others through the Internet. This study revealed the consequences of internet use which eventually lead to behavior that is intolerable.
Given that schools are faced by all these problems, the researcher felt that something wrong was happening to the students’ behavior and could be attributed to the exposure to the internet. Therefore, these effects needed to be brought to the fore through an investigation, hence the necessity of carrying out a research on how exposure to the internet has led to behavioral problems noticed on learners at Rimuka 3 High School.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In Kadoma, teachers and parents have lamented that behavior among school students was becoming questionable. There is an increase in more unpleasing behaviors being observed every other day ranging from drug and substance abuse, chronic absenteeism, premarital sex and unwarranted use of mobile phones in schools. From the mobile phones, students accessed music, radio, television channels, text messages, exam materials, chat rooms and internet information which sometimes had destructive content and actions which might influence their behaviors.
Teachers are complaining about students’ repeated unwanted sexual behaviors, change of dressing styles, rebelliousness and deviance, drug abuse, cheating in exams, violence and aggression, among other behaviors. There was scanty literature available on research carried out in Zimbabwe, Kadoma district in particular to study the influence of exposure to internet among learner`s behavior.
The study therefore seeks to answer the question: What are learner behavior problems associated with exposure to the internet at Rimuka 3 High School?
1.3. ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
It is assumed that:
- The school-aged population have access to communication technologies like cell phones, texting, messaging through the Internet, social media websites, and video games.
- Learners spend more time on the internet than previous generations
- Learners are able to browse through the internet using their mobile phones
- Internet is available at the school premises and at home
1.4. RESEARCH AIMS
The study aimed at:
Identifying learner behavior problems associated with exposure to the internet at Rimuka 3 High School in Kadoma using a case study approach with the view to provide relevant recommendations to curb such behaviors and ensure learners are aware of cyber wellness.
1.5. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The study sought to:
- To assess learner behaviour problems associated with exposure to the internet at Rimuka 3 High school
- To examine the effect of behaviour problems associated with exposure to the internet to their academic achievement.
- To assess the possible recommendations that can be applied in order to deter the unwarranted student behaviour
1.6. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study was guided by the following four research questions:
a) Which kind of electronic devices are learners exposed to at Rimuka 3 High School, Kadoma?
b) To what extent is behaviour influenced by exposure to the internet as observed at Rimuka 3 High School?
c) What are the behavioural problems observed as a result of exposure to the internet at Rimuka 3 High School?
d) What solutions could be offered to curb unnecessary students’ exposure to the internet at Rimuka 3 High School in Kadoma?
1.7. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Owing to the broad and new challenges arising from technological advancements, teachers, parents and the society need appropriate knowledge and awareness so as to know how the internet could be influencing students’ behavior. Therefore, this study has potential contribution in that; first, Parents, teachers, and school administration would gain knowledge on what kind of information students are being exposed to as they interacted through the internet. Second, the study would also offer an insight on how particular indiscipline cases related to exposure on internet could be solved.
Thirdly, findings would make students aware of the harm they are exposing themselves to as a result of uncontrolled exposure to the internet. This would awaken in them a desire to control unnecessary exposure to the internet and the content that may harm them. Fourth, it is hoped that once the society is informed it would take the necessary precautions towards censoring what is being offered by the media so as to curb its negative influence. Finally, it is assumed that education policy promoters would encourage media literacy programs as part of school curriculum so as to enable students have the knowledge and skills to critically analyze media messages and sensitize schools and administrators in censoring or monitoring learners access and use of the internet.
1.8. DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study was limited to the learner behaviour problems associated with exposure to the internet at Rimuka 3 High School in Kadoma. The study was limited to students and teachers who are responsible for guidance and counselling of Learners as well as class teachers. Learners in this research were paramount to the research since they are the once who interact more with the technological gadgets and are also at higher risk of unwanted or undesirable content on the internet and consequently their behaviour being affected by such exposure. The study also is limited to the negative effects. The study also focused on teachers as well as they were responsible in the moulding of Learner behaviours at the school. Teachers are also responsible for making sure that learners do not use their technological gadgets.
1.9. LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Students and parents selected to participate in the study were chosen based on teachers’ perceptions of negative behavioural changes over time and on the willingness of students and teachers identified to participate in the study. This purposeful selection process greatly limited the range and variety of cases examined in the study. The researcher was also the teacher where the research was being undertaken and also responsible for monitoring of online activities of people connected to the internet. Therefore, biases and preconceptions of the researcher must be taken into consideration.
1.10. DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
Behavior- Richard J. & Philip G. Zimbardo. (2002) defines behavioras the actions by which an organism adjusts to its environment.
Electronic Media -The business dictionary (2016) defines electronic media as broadcast or storage media that take advantage of electronic technology. They may include television, radio, Internet, fax, CD-ROMs, DVD, and any other medium that requires electricity or digital encoding of information.
Facebook - The Technopedia (2017) describes Face book as a standalone social networking site that connects users to people they already know for example, friends, family members and co-workers. It also offers group games, real time chat and photo hosting.
Social Networking Sites - Boyd D, Ellison. N. B. (2007) define social network sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site.
This chapter covered the introduction and the background of the study as well as its significance. The statement of the problem was also given this chapter. The delimitation and limitation of the study were also offered in the study. Definitions of key terms were also pointed out in this chapter. The following chapter that is chapter 2 will review related literature and identifying the gaps that lie within this area of study as well as pointing how this research will be of paramount importance in covering such literature gaps.
CHAPTER TWO REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This section presents the review of related literature on learner behavior problems associated today modern technology and access to the internet exposes learners to both positive and negative effects. The internet poses both risks and opportunities. For example, globalization of media not only brings opportunities to expand student’s perspectives and add more equivalent access to information, but it also influences their identification and values negatively. There have been an increasing number of assimilated behaviors among learners. Learners tend to develop behaviors that sometimes make the teaching job more difficult as the transmission of knowledge from the teacher to the learner is affected negatively by some undesirable behaviors by learners.
This calls for a key investigation on how these could be influencing learner’s behavior in Zimbabwe and Rimuka 3 high school in Kadoma specifically. Moreover, it is necessary to gain awareness of both the possible benefits, influences and risks of learners Internet use, and provide policies to guide safe and positive practice (Subrahmanyam, Greenfield, and Tynes, 2004).
Literature related to this research will be reviewed and gaps will be identified that will help in making this research of greater importance.
2.1 TYPES OF MEDIA MOSTLY EXPOSED TO LEARNERS
In this globalized world, most young people spend most of their time in front of television, computers, ipods , ipads to mention just a few. Radios, CDs, music videos and content on internet are other Medias that are influencing the lives of many adolescents apart from television (Santrock,2010). Further Ray and Jat (2010) adds that radio, television (TV), movies, video games, cellphones, and computer networks have assumed central roles in interacting with children's daily lives. This has been further supported by Steinberg (2011) when he postulates that the past decade has witnessed an explosion in adolescent’s use of media. This expansion and accessibility to media has not only enabled adolescent to access music and video content through usual source (stereos and televisions) but also access this material on computer and all sorts of portable device like cell phones. As a result, various people have carried out research to identify how far these forms of media are associated with the young generation whereby most of whom are students.
For instance, Roberts, Foehr and Rideout (2005) carried out a national study that took an in-depth look at the media habits of children and adolescents as per the situation in United States of America. In surveying more than 2,200 children and adolescents from 8 through 18 years of age it was confirmed that, on average youth spent 6 ½ hours a day with media while spending only 2½ hours a day with parents and just 50 minutes a day on homework. It was further noted that despite all the newly developed technologies that are available adolescents spend the most time (Nearly 4 hours a day) watching T.V including live and prerecorded T.V, DVDs and Videos. However, the time spend online by adolescents was stated to be rapidly increasing. Further, video game playing often peak in early adolescent and then decline at some point in late adolescence in response to competing media, school demands and social activities.
Moreover, the above study considered media habits of children and adolescents in America unlike the current study which will specifically major on students as participants because most of them lie within the adolescent age. Further, the study employed survey research design only whereas this study will employ a cross sectional survey design so as to collect information about electronic media influence on secondary school students. Further, this study found out that children and adolescents spent more time on watching television, DVDs and videos unlike other types of electronic media which this research intents to study.
Lopez (2009) reported that a student from Los Angeles high school had stated that the hardest media to break away from for seven days was the television in the living room, plus all of the other TVs in the house. The student further added that, he watches TV almost every day and when it is not on he cannot resist the desire to watch. The study by Lopez did illustrate that most young people are exposed to media such as televisions which in turn have undesirable negative impacts. The study did not spell out the major influence of Internet on behavior. Therefore, the gap left out by this research will be covered in this research as focus will be put more on internet use and learner behavior problems.
In another study, Adebayo, Udegbe and Sunmola (2006) examined the influence of gender and Internet use on the sexual behavior orientation of young adults in Nigeria. The study adopted an ex-post-facto research design, data were collected from a total of 231 male and female participants sampled through simple random sampling. Results of the hierarchical regression model provided support for the influence of gender and Internet use on sexual behavior orientation among young Nigerians. Further, results also showed an interaction effect; as the use of the Internet increased, male participants reported a greater extent of risky sexual behavior orientation than their female counterparts. This study focused on the impact of internet on sexual behavior of adolescents only. The study did not cover the impact of internet exposure on learner behavior problems as they encompass a large domain. Therefore, this is the gap that will be covered by this research.
The findings were explained in the context of the theoretical foundations of the study, while practical implications for combating youths' risky sexual behavior orientation were highlighted. Critically looking into the above reviewed study, more emphasis has been laid on the influence of gender and Internet use on the sexual behavior orientation of young adults in Nigeria but not Zimbabwe. In addition the study looked into the influence of gender and Internet use on the sexual behavior orientation not on effects of internet exposure and how it could be influencing students’ behavior especially in Zimbabwe. Moreover, the study adopted annex-post-facto survey research design unlike the current study which will employ cross-sectional survey research design.
Further, Denniston, Swahn, Hertz and Romero (2007) in another research studied association between electronic media use and involvement in violence, alcohol and drug use among United States high school students. The study adopted survey research design to reach United States high school students administered by the Centers. The population consisted of high school students in United States of America. The sample size was 14041students from 157 high schools who were exposed to television and computers on an average school day. Sampling was done using 3-stage cluster sampling. Chi-square tests were used to identify statistically significant associations between each exposure variable and each of the outcome variables. Also, logistic regression was used to obtain crude odd ratios for outcome variables with a significant chi-square p-value and to obtain adjusted odd ratios controlling for sex, race, and grade in school. Key findings were that 35.4% of students reported frequent television (TV) use and 24.9% percent reported computer/video game use. A number of risk behaviors, including involvement in physical fights and initiation of alcohol use before age13, were significantly associated with frequent TV use or frequent computer/video game use, even after controlling for sex, race/ethnicity and grade.
The above reviewed study looked into the association between exposure to television and computers and involvement in violence, alcohol and drug use among United States high school students but not students or learners in Zimbabwe. However, it did mention that television and computers are associated with a number of risk behaviors seen among students but neglected other kind of behaviors associated with such exposure to forms of media. Again, this study adopted survey research design in general unlike the current study which will specifically employ cross sectional survey design so as to give comprehensive information about the situation at Rimuka 3 High School in Kadoma.
In another research, Primack, Swanier, Georgiopoulos, Land and Fine (2009) studied association between media use in adolescence and depression in young adulthood in the United States. The study adopted a Longitudinal Survey research design. The population comprised adolescent students. The sample size was 4142 adolescents who were not depressed at baseline and subsequent development of depression after 7 years of follow-up52.5% were female; 23.7% were African American, and 10.3% were Hispanic; and their mean (SD) age at follow-up was 21.8 years. The instrument used to collect data was a 9-item Center for Epidemiologic Studies–Depression Scale. The findings revealed students were exposed to different media such as 2.14 hours of television, 0.96 hours of videocassettes, 0.41 hours of computer games, and 2.34 hours of radio.
However, the reviewed study above looked into the association between media use in adolescence and depression in young adulthood in the United States it did discover that students were exposed to media such as television, video cassettes, computers and radio but this study was carried out in the United States not in Zimbabwe which is the researcher’s place of interest. In addition, the study employed Longitudinal Survey research design unlike the current study which will employ descriptive cross-sectional survey design so as to collect an in depth information about how exposure to the internet is influencing students’ behavior.
Wade, Jacobsen and Forste (2011) in a study, investigated on the academic and social outcomes of electronic media use among university students in the United States of America. The population comprised of 30,000 first year students. Survey research design especially, qualtrics online survey software was employed during the research. Research instrument included questionnaires and 3-day log for recording activities. The findings of the research were that electronic media is negatively associated with grades, two thirds of the students reported using electronic media while in class, studying or doing homework. Consequently, this decreased concentration which is detrimental to student performance.
However, the participants of the above reviewed study where university students from United States of America unlike the current study which will only consider secondary school students in Zimbabwe especially in Kadoma and at Rimuka 3 high school. Further, this research used Survey research design especially, qualtric online survey software and questionnaires to collect data from the students, the current survey will specifically use descriptive cross-sectional survey design and questionnaires only so as to collect in-depth information.
From the findings, there was a positive association between social Networking sites and cellular phone communication and students reported using cellphones while in class, studying or doing homework. The current study seeks to establish whether there is a correlation between use of cellphones and change in behavior.
2.2 INTERNET CONTENT EXPOSED TO LEARNERS
Concerning the internet content exposed to students, Pardun, Ladin and Brown (2005) carried out an investigation on early adolescents' consumption of sexual content in six Media in the United States. The population of the study was 4335 respondents comprising of 7th and 8th graders. The study employed a longitudinal survey design to reach the population. Research instruments employed were questionnaire completed by 3rd, 7th and8th grades and interviews which were conducted to 1,074 respondents. The questions were based on respondents' top television shows, movies, music, Internet sites, and newspapers after which content was analyzed for portrayals or references to pubertal development, romantic relationships, body exposure or nudity, sexual innuendo, touching and kissing, and sexual intercourse. A measure called the Sexual Media Diet (SMD) was developed to assess each individual's exposure to sexual content in the media, based on the combination of media consumption and content. The findings of the study were that there was statistically significant association between adolescents' sexual activity and future intentions to be sexually active, with measures of movie and music exposure showing the strongest associations. Further the mass media was identified to be an important context for adolescents’ sexual behavior.
However, the above reviewed study paid attention to early adolescents' consumption of sexual content; it did not consider learners who are attending secondary school as they are also constitute a larger portion of population exposed to such media. Hence the researcher intents to research on how content from this media could be influencing students’ behavior. The study adopted a longitudinal survey design to reach the target population unlike the current study which will use descriptive cross-sectional survey design so as to reach the sampled population. Further, the findings of the study found an association between adolescents’ sexual activity and future intentions to be sexually active and that the mass media was identified to be an important context for adolescents’ sexual behavior. However, this study did not mention other forms of content apart from sexual content which the researcher wants to identify and find out how they could be influencing students’ behavior.
According to Greenfield and Yan (2006) the internet enables a multiple communication media such as e-mail, instant messaging (IM), chat, and blogs which permit adolescents to contribute and construct their own environment. Extracting the data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the immense majority (89%) of teens uses e-mail;75% use IM, which permits them to have multiple simultaneous discussions with a distinct group of peers. Over 50% of teens acquire more than one email address or screen name, which they can use to propel confidential messages to friends or to partake incognito in online forums. Furthermore, in an analysis of content absorbed by adolescents through internet, Santrock (2010) revealed that of 1000 most visited sites on the internet, 10%are adult sex oriented, 44% of adolescents have visited an adult sexually oriented site,25% of adolescents have visited sites that promotes hate speech and 12% of adolescents have found a site where they can receive information about how to buy a gun. This kind of information being accessed by adolescents most of whom are students can influence students to have questionable social world, unwanted sexual behaviors, be violent and aggressive.
Secondary school students being adolescents are not left out in exposure to sensual information found on the internet. Premarital sex has been witnessed among students in their own schools and even when they are out for games or other events. Despite strict rules against love affairs in secondary schools and enriched counseling, teachers often deal with students involved in this kind of indiscipline. Therefore, the research seeks to investigate into the major reasons why the internet has transformed learner’s behavior and what it is that the learners are being exposed to that affect their behavior at school and even at home.
In the same vein, Brown, Ladin, Pardun, Guo, Kenneavy, and Jackson (2006) carried out a study to assess over time whether exposure to sexual content in 4 mass media(television, movies, music, and magazines) used by early adolescents predicts sexual behavior in middle adolescence. The population was 1017 black and white adolescents’ from14 middle schools in central North Carolina. Research design employed was an in-home longitudinal survey and the research instruments employed were a computer-assisted self-interview (audio computer-assisted self-interview) to ensure confidentiality. Further, a new measure of each teen’s sexual media diet (SMD) was constructed by weighting the frequency of use of 4 media by the frequency of sexual content in each television show, movie, music album, and magazine the teen used regularly. Key findings from the research were that white adolescents were placed in the top quintile of sexual media diet, 12 to 14 years old were 2.2times more likely to have had sexual intercourse while 14 to 16 years old than those who were in the lowest SMD quintile, even after a number of other relevant factors, including baseline sexual behavior, were introduced. The relationship was not statistically significant for black adolescents after controlling for other factors that were more predictive, including parental disapproval of teen sex and perceived permissive peer sexual norms. That is exposure to sexual content in music, movies, television, and magazine accelerates white adolescents’ sexual activity and increases their risk of engaging in early sexual intercourse.
Black teens appear more influenced by perceptions of their parents’ expectations and their friends’ sexual behavior than by what they see and hear in the media. However, in the above study, participants were black and white adolescents from 14middle schools in central North Carolina unlike this study which will consider black secondary school students only from Rimuka 3 High School in Kadoma, Zimbabwe. In addition, the study majored on content from mass media that is, television, movies, music, and magazines whereas this study will major on content from internet especially accessed through the use of cellphones and computers.
Ward and Friedman (2006) studied the associations between Television Viewing and Adolescents' Sexual Attitudes and Behavior in the United States of America. The sample comprised of 244 high school students sampled through simple random. Both correlational and experimental research designs were used to. The students were assigned to view clips depicting either one of three sexual stereotypes or neutral content, and then they completed measures assessing their attitudes about sexual roles and relationships, their regular TV viewing habits, and their sexual experiences. Results indicated that more frequent viewing of talk shows and of “sexy” prime-time programs, and viewing TV more intently for companionship, was each associated with greater endorsement of sexual stereotypes.
Additionally, more frequent viewing and stronger identification with popular TV characters were associated with greater levels of sexual experience. Laboratory exposure to specific stereotypical content led to greater acceptance of gender and sexual stereotypes, as well. Moreover, the above reviewed study majored on the associations between television viewing and adolescents' sexual attitudes and behavior, it veered from other forms of electronic media and their varied information which are the researchers’ area of concern.
Further, the participants of this research were high school students of United States of America but the participants of the current study will be secondary school students from Zimbabwe derived from Rimuka 3 High School in Kadoma. The study adopted both correlational and experimental research designs whereas the current study will employ descriptive cross-sectional survey research design only.
Additionally, the key findings of this research indicated that more frequent viewing of talk shows and of “sexy” prime-time programs was each associated with greater endorsement of gender and sexual stereotypes and greater levels of sexual experience. These points to cases which can be related to students at Rimuka 3 High School, hence the researchers’ interest on how the internet could be influencing learners’ behavior.
In a study, Katsumata, Matsumoto, Kitani and Takeshima (2008) investigated on the relationship between exposure to various media forms such as Television and the internet use and suicidal ideation among Japanese adolescents. The participants of the study were 590 junior high school students whereby 299 boys and 291girls. The students were enrolled at two public junior high schools located in suburban areas of Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan. The research design employed was descriptive survey design accompanied by questionnaires as the research instruments. Findings of the study revealed that a lifetime history of suicidal ideation may be significantly associated with a history of searching the internet for information about suicide or self-injury, experiences of anxiety or emotional pain related to the use of electronic media, and adolescents' distrust of the people around them.
The above study looked into the relationship between internet use and suicidal ideation among Japanese adolescents but not behavioral problems associated with exposure to the internet in Zimbabwe. Further the study found that suicidal ideation may be significantly associated with a history of searching the internet for information about suicide or self-injury, experiences of anxiety or emotional pain related to the use of electronic media, and adolescents' mistrust of the people around them. The study`s focus was suicide and not broadly different behaviors that are portrayed after exposed to the internet by Learners. Thus, this study will cover this gap and focus on various behavioral changes necessitated by internet exposure and use.
Schooler, Sorsoli, Kimand Tolman (2009) carried out a study focusing on incremental effects of media exposure on sexual behavior. The study employed survey research design to examine the ways in which adolescents select and organize their television viewing. This study used cluster sampling analysis to identify, validate, and describe distinct profiles of adolescent television use. Eight discrete clusters emerged, each with a unique profile of primetime viewing. To validate the cluster solution, participants' television viewing profiles were compared with their music preferences. The study then examined the sexual content consumed by adolescents’ indifferent viewing clusters. Content analysis of the most popular programs revealed that participants in all clusters were watching programs that were high in sexual content alongside programs that were low in sexual content.