Children, media and parenting in the COVID-19 Pandemic (Pandemic parenting)


The pandemic has changed childhood to digital by default. Given changes in domestic media practices where everything happens through digital platforms, this international comparative research project seeks to understand how parents and caregivers regulate media, understand advice about media, and articulate what it means to create the conditions for a good childhood in relation to media practices in the home.

Project aims

  • understand changes in children’s media practices in response to the pandemic as described by parents/caregivers
  • understand what parents/caregivers imagine for future media practices in the home
  • understand changes in ideas around digital media in relation to the regulation of media practices in the home

Project design

This qualitative inquiry is being conducted in seven countries: Australia, China, UK, US, South Korea, Canada and Columbia. 20 participants per country are being recruited and data generated by the following methods:

  • online surveys x 140 – collecting contextual data to inform analysis of interview data
  • 45-minute audio-recorded interviews x 140 (20 x 7 countries) – to be transcribed and thematically analysed
  • visual data/images x 140 (20 x 7 countries) – to be curated into an image quilt threaded with excerpts from interview data

Additional investigators

Becky Coles (Deakin), Natalie Coulter (Toronto), Diana Carolina García Gómez (Columbia)

Activity plan for 2022

  • publish a blog post on parents’ post-pandemic aspirations for digital tech use in the home
  • showcase in the Connected Learning Summit 2022 (27-29 July)
  • creative artifact (NTRO) to be made by combining visual data with interview data
  • book publication (proposal is in early stages, contract yet to be secured)


June 2021 - December 2022


Professor Julian Sefton-Green

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The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child acknowledges the First Australian owners of the lands on where we gather and pay our respects to the Elders, lores, customs and creation spirits of this country.