Blog # 2

As we approach the mid-year, we would like to update you on the progress Professor Ida Dupont and I have been working on. Its based on a set of instructional research questions to ask our survey participants.


There were a few obstacles Professor Dupont and I encountered when coming up with our survey questions. Some of the most challenging parts was coming up with how we should ask our questions so they do not make the participants uncomfortable. It’s hard to get transparency from participants when they’re guarded and feeling uncomfortable. Another challenged we faced was having questions that weren’t open-ended questions. We had to decide what our cutoffs would be so we could have a very specific research pool. We decided that our study would focus on the population that has/had been in a relationship from the time they’ve started college and maintained a constant social media presence. We have been going back to the power and control wheel and seeing how each section has a connection to social media. In a practice survey I conducted I found that when asking questions that are more personal you have to be very specific in how you word and ask the questions, it aids in getting a better more specific response from participants. We found that social media plays a big role in relationships in college, whether it’s tagging of pictures, commenting or following certain people can affect the relationship in a positive or negative way. In the practice survey, we also found that most students use the same SNS (Social Network Sites) which were most commonly Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.


Questions that were raised when coming up with our survey questions were the following: How can we form these questions so that participants can give as much detail as possible? How can we bring up the topic of abuse without triggering our participant? What are ways we can form our questions so they don’t come off as we are implying they have been manipulated by their partners through the use of social media?

The connection concerning social media and abuse in intimate college relationships:

It is essential to acknowledge the great role technology has in today’s society, that is why  Dr. Ida DuPont and I have centered our research on the connection between social media and abuse in intimate college relationships. The goal of this experimental research is to find the connection between social media and how it can lead to abusive behavior because of its implications that one does not need privacy in their life. We are trying figure out how a partner can use tactics such as manipulation, gas lighting, and persuasion in order to sway their loved one to act and think according to the abuser’s cues.
We will be using the power and control wheel of abuse by showing how each form of abuse identified can be used and strengthened with the power of social media. Our main method to answer our research questions are the use of surveys and interviewing college students that are in or have been in a relationship in the time frame they started college. Considering the responses participants give us will allow us to also see how people see abuse versus what abuse actually is. We are concentrating our study group on college students in same-sex or heterosexual relationships, our theory does not discriminate against which relationships have more of this abuse. This is because almost every college student uses social media, and has the ability and availability to abuse someone they are in a relationship with. Learning different types of tactics and what percentage of students experience some form of abuse will allow us to see how common this type of abuse is amongst people, especially young adults who are more inclined to use social media.