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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Jon Schamber

First Committee Member

Qingwen Dong

Second Committee Member

Alan Ray


This study examines San Joaquin County parents' and guardians' media use, interpersonal discussion and attitudes toward funding public schools. Specifically, it investigated the effect of media use on the salience of funding for public schools and how it may be mediated by interpersonal discussion about local public schools. Data was collected from 513 parents and guardians of kindergarten- through sixth-grade children, who responded to a purposive survey distributed within their large urban district, Tracy Unified School District, a small rural district, Jefferson Elementary School District, and a charter school run by San Joaquin County Office of Education. The survey was used to test a hypothesis and research question. The research found that there is a correlation with media use and parental attitudes toward public school funding. More significantly, however, is that the results indicated that interpersonal discussion is a much stronger predictor of parent's attitudes toward public school funding than media use. This study implies that interpersonal discussions with teachers and school administrators can further problem solving and/or decision-making with parents.





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