Dr Sharon Horwood

Dr Sharon Horwood’s research focusses on the impacts of problematic technology use on health and wellbeing across the lifespan. Sharon’s work in the Centre will examine early childhood digital technology use from the perspectives of the parent, the child, and the digital environment, with health and wellbeing at the forefront of her work. Her goal is to improve parental resources and guidelines available for early childhood screen time and ensure that they are informed with robust developmental research along with existing physical activity guidelines. Additionally, she also hopes to create developmentally safe and healthy criteria for early childhood app designers to adhere to when designing media for children.

In 2020, Sharon was commissioned by SBS Australia to conduct a large-scale study of smartphone use in Australia for their recently released world-first interactive documentary Are You Addicted to Technology, and develop screen time teacher resources for secondary school-aged children to be available via the SBS Learn platform. Sharon also presented a TEDx talk about her research on problematic smartphone use and burnout. Sharon is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Health, School of Psychology at Deakin University.

Earliest digital memory
Thinking that the chunky, pixelated graphics in the 1980s Atari games I played with my brother were so cool.

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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.

The Centre recognises that the examples we set in diversity and inclusion will support young children to respect and celebrate differences in all people. We embed diversity, inclusivity and equality into all aspects of the Centre’s activities and welcome all people regardless of race, ethnicity, social background, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation and national origin.