School of Education Counseling and Psychology in Education
childhood, well-being, technology, media
Cognitive Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Educational Psychology
This phenomenological study examined children’s subjective well-being (N = 22) in rural and urban areas of the Midwestern United States, as part of a larger multinational comparative qualitative study of children's well-being. Children (8 to 12 years old) completed an extended, semi-structured qualitative interview and mapping exercise that prompted them to draw and describe the scope, aspects of, and influences on their subjective well-being. Phenomenological analyses of children’s responses were conducted to identify aspects of their contexts, including their use of digital technology and media (DTM), that were linked to children’s subjective well-being. Two main themes emerged; 1) children reported that DTM is not essential to their well-being but 2) DTM is important to their well-being. Six sub-themes emerged under the DTM is important theme. Children reported that DTM is rewarding and valuable to them, and it contributes to their life satisfaction. They also reported that DTM use enhances their connections to others, self-acceptance, autonomy, and competence and skills. Results are discussed in regards to children’s self-identified hedonic and eudaimonic aspects of their well-being, and are placed within a contextual framework of child well-being. Implications, strengths, and weaknesses of the study are discussed.
Child Indicators Research
Newland, L. A., Mourlam, D., & Strouse, G. A. (2018). A phenomenological exploration of the role of digital technology and media in children’s subjective well-being. Child Indicators Research, 11(5), 1563-1583. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-017-9498-z