Date of Conferral



Doctor of Social Work (DSW)


Social Work


Kenneth Larimore


There has been a significant increase in behavioral issues in the home and school environments of youth ages 13-17 years in the state of Georgia who have constant access to technology through internet-connected devices over the past years. Due to constant evolution and advancements of technology, mental health professionals are now noticing that when youth are overly consumed with technology, it tends to correlate with problematic behaviors. The social work practice problem and purpose is understanding the difficulties social workers face when working with youth exposed to technology without parental supervision. This study is important within the context of clinical social work because it seeks to recognize the barriers in treatment and aims to develop realistic solutions that produces change. Research questions identified for this doctoral study consist of identifying strategies and interventions to use when addressing difficulties, exploring the need for parental supervision, discovering changes to be implemented to reduce dependence on technology, and defining ways to raise greater awareness. Social cognitive theory was applied within this doctoral study. An action research design with data collection via individual qualitative interviews of social workers within the state of Georgia was utilized. Themes derived from the findings were reduced focus, increased suffering, lacking parental involvement, distribution of resources, loss of fundamental skills, demands for greater advocacy, and absent screening tools. Recommendations were education and resources to parents and increased partnerships as solutions. The hope is that the findings from this study will be utilized by social workers and other mental health professionals in their practice to produce positive social change.

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