Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Gema Hernandez


The number of motor vehicle accidents that occur as a result of driving while talking on

mobile devices increases each year. Distracted driving is dangerous; however, policy

researchers have not focused on adults who talk on mobile devices as they drive children

to and from daily events. This study focused on the experiences of soccer parents, an

important focus because of soccer's year-long duration that requires a large amount of

driving in addition to the other daily tasks of parenting. The purpose of this

phenomenological study was to investigate the perceptions of parents of child soccer

players regarding the motivations for and risks of talking on mobile devices while

driving. The theoretical framework for this phenomenological study was the self-determination theory. Data were collected by electronic surveys using a convenience

sample of 10 couples and 4 single parents of children who play soccer for a team in a

southern state. Data were analyzed using the constant comparative method in which

patterns were identified and coded into themes. The key findings were that the parents

had different perceptions of the risks and motivations for talking on mobile devices while

driving. There were participants who viewed talking on mobile devices as risky while

others did not perceive talking on mobile devices while driving as a risk.

Recommendations include conducting further research on parents who drive children to

and from soccer practices, while talking on mobile devices, in order to gain better

understanding of what motivates people to choose to talk on mobile devices while

driving. The implications for positive social change include informing policy makers

about the importance of increasing awareness and educating the public about the risks of

talking on mobile devices while driving.