Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Hollis Glaser


This paper presents educational research about the uniqueness of middle school children, the perspectives of parents and teachers regarding communication with one another, and how schools can involve parents in the educational process. The literature reveals a lack of information regarding the perspective of parents of middle school children. Nine interviews were conducted with parents of middle school children in a small, midwestem community to gain their perspectives on communicating with teachers. Parents were asked to describe experiences with teachers to determine what types of communication were most effective and what conflicts existed. A social constructivist approach was used to analyze the results. The study and its results were based on Vernon E. Cronen's and W. Barnett Pearce's theory of the coordinated management of meaning. Emergent themes were the importance of communication (archetypes, rules, and contracts) and parental concerns with control, comfort/caring and honesty. The results of the study are discussed and implications for future research are presented.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts. Copyright 2001 Michelle M. Cox