Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

EdD Educational Leadership (Doctor of Education)


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Kerrigan, Monica Reid

Committee Member 1

Johnson, Ane Turner

Committee Member 2

Perry, Mary-Elaine


Campus Crime and Safety, Clery Act, Gender, Moral Development, Social Media, Social Networking Services


College students--Social networks; Women--Crimes against; Universities and colleges--Safety measures


Higher Education


The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to explore college students' use of social networking services (SNS); examining how and why they communicate about campus safety information. This study took place at Stockton University, a regional state institution in NJ. Undergraduate students took part in an online quantitative questionnaire and then follow up face-to-face qualitative interviews with a section of the questionnaire participants. Focus was placed on how and why students communicate crime and safety information to discuss how this may relate to their moral development and decision-making. Using Kohlberg and Gilligan as a guide to understand choices made about safety, and in what ways these choices reflect progression of moral development. Gregory and Janosik's (2003) seven purposes of the Clery Act were used in order to understand if the preventative goals that the Clery Act mandate are being actualized with respect to how current college students communicate and make decisions about safety. Four main themes were identified from this study: students were unaware of the Clery Act, SNS was widely used and impacts information access and sharing, face-to-face communication is preferred for important topics, and students perceived that women use SNS differently and are impacted by crime and safety differently as well.