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 Colombia. 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 and a virtual exhibition space threaded with excerpts from interview data

Additional investigators

Dr Becky Coles, Deakin University, Australia
Associate Professor Natalie Coulter, York University, Canada
Dr Diana García Gómez, George Mason University, United States
Dr Amie Kim, Gyeongin National University of Education, South Korea
Ju Lim, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States
Maureen Mauk, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States
Lindsay Sheppard, York University, Canada
Jess Williams, Deakin University, Australia


June 2021 - December 2022


Dr Xinyu (Andy) Zhao

View all projects

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.