Project

Digital technology and sleep routines in daily life

Overview

Sleep has direct consequences for learning, overall health, and emotional control and wellbeing in children. The interactions, family choices, and behaviours around technology and sleep are not well known, despite evidence of strong cross-sectional associations. Due to the speed at which technology has been advancing in recent years, the subsequent proliferation of devices available, and the near-ubiquitous use of technology, prior understandings of the use of digital technologies in the home are likely to be outdated. This project is a first step to gather rich qualitative data about technology use in the home and will identify the ways in which this technology use fits within household routines, especially sleep routines for children during the first years of formal schooling.


Project aims

  • gather rich qualitative data about children’s routines and technology use in the home
  • identify the ways in which technology is incorporated in household routines, especially sleep routines
  • identify social interactions that provide opportunities to support physical and emotional health and wellbeing


Project design

This project employs a mixed methodology design, which includes an online survey and virtual interview. The two components can both be completed in the comfort of the participant’s home, or location of their choice, and at a time of their choosing.

Parents of children aged 5 to 8 years will (1) complete a brief Demographic Survey, and then (2) participate in a 1-hour in-depth virtual interview where they will be asked to describe their child’s routine during the previous evening. During the interview a novel graphical elicitation technique will be used to visually display the participant’s house plan and icons of possible elements of a child’s routine, to create a fun and interactive experience.

The data collected will be analysed to identify key components of primary school children’s bedtime routines, the integration of technology into their lives, and uncover the interplay of technology and sleep. The analysis will focus on getting a deeper understanding of: what activities are being done, where in the house, with who or which other people, and what technology is being used.



Participate in this project

We are seeking parents or caregivers of children who:

  • are aged 5-8 years;
  • attend school; and
  • have access to digital technology at home (e.g., television, iPad, videogames).

You will be asked to (1) complete an online survey about your child’s technology use and daily routines, and (2) participate in a Zoom interview (up to 60 minutes) to discuss your child’s daily routines, especially their digital technology use and sleep.

If you are interested in participating in this study, you can find more information and register here.



Timeframe

May 2022 – August 2023


Contact

Dr Janelle MacKenzie

Dr Laetitia Coles




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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.