Using a socio-ecological framework to understand how 8–12-year-olds build and show digital resilience: A multiperspective and multimethod qualitative study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


Educationalists’, researchers’, and policy makers’ work on children’s digital resilience has marginalised the role of the broader context within which digital resilience is constituted, experienced and derived. We aimed to address this lacuna by exploring how pre-teen’s digital resilience operates as a dynamic socio-ecological process. Addressing this aim, we employed participatory methods and thematically analysed eight focus groups with children aged 8–12 years (n = 59) and 20 telephone interviews with parents/carers and teachers of 8–12-year-olds and internet safety experts to examine this issue. We used purposive sampling and collected data over three months (January-March 2020). Our analysis constructed a matrix of main themes, constituent, and cross-cutting sub-themes. By placing this within a socio-ecological framework, we illustrate how pre-teens’ digital resilience operates within and across differing four levels (individual, home, community and societal) and four domains (learning, recognising, managing, and recovery). The paper advances the literature by illustrating how children can be supported to build and show digital resilience within and across different levels and domains. It is argued that digital resilience should be re-conceptualised as a collective endeavour involving children at an individual level, parents/carers within home environments, youth workers, civil society, teachers, and schools at a community level, along with governments, policymakers, and the education system and internet corporations at a societal level. We conclude by providing practice and research recommendations guiding those supporting children to facilitate opportunities to thrive online.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3681–3709
Number of pages29
JournalEducation and Information Technologies
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sep 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


  • Children
  • Digital resilience
  • Qualitative research
  • Socio-ecological

Cite this