mobile icon

Digital Media in the Everyday Life of Children and Adolescents

Junior research groupSocial Media
Duration01/2018 - 12/2020
FundingIWM budget resources
Project description

Today, children and adolescents experience a mediatization of their everyday life and grow up with a multitude of digital media. They live in households, of which almost all have mobile phones/smartphones, computers and Internet access. The project investigates how the enormous presence of digital media in the everyday lives of children and adolescents influences their psychosocial development and what role the surrounding social contexts play.

Digital media offer adolescents a variety of usage options for coping with important developmental tasks. For example, the constant exchange of personal and intimate information enables and strengthens peer relationships. In addition, the diverse online contents provide creative and experimental possibilities for the construction of youngsters’ identities. Conversely, intensive and permanent communication via digital media can also involve certain risks. In addition to a high perceived communication pressure, the possibility of permanent and anonymous interaction with friends and strangers also can foster certain social risks, such as cyberbullying or sexual victimization.
Parents in particular face the difficult task of enabling their children to participate in a digital society and to exploit the associated potential, while at the same time protecting them from risks and harmful experiences on the Internet. Parents influence the use and development of children through their media education activities. However, they are also important role models when it comes to their own usage behavior.  
In various substudies, the project examined positive and negative effects of digital media use on children’s and adolescents’ psychosocial development. In this context, different protective and harmful influencing factors were considered: On the individual level, the main focus was on digital media literacy, while, on the social level, peer and family influences were investigated."

  • Prof. Dr. Vivian Chen, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
  • Dr. Alexandra Langmeyer-Tornier, Deutsches Jugendinstitut
  • Prof. Dr. Thorsten Quandt, Universität Münster
  • Dr. Felix Reer, Universität Münster

Festl, R. (2021). Social media literacy & adolescent social online behavior in Germany. Journal of Children and Media, 15(2), 249-271. request document

Festl, R. (2021). Soziale Medienkompetenz von Jugendlichen - Zur Rolle von Wissen, Motivation und Fähigkeiten für ein sozial kompetentes Handeln online. Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht, 68(1), 58-73.

Festl, R., & Gniewosz, G. (2019). Role of mothers’ and fathers’ Internet parenting for family climate. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 36(6), 1764-1784.

Festl, R., Reer, F., & Quandt, T. (2019). Online sexual engagement and psychosocial well-being: The mediating role of sexual victimization experiences. Computers in Human Behavior, 98, 102-110.

Festl, R., & Langmeyer, A. N. (2018). Die Bedeutung der elterlichen Interneterziehung für die Internetnutzung von Vor-, Grund- und Sekundarschulkindern. Praxis der Kinderpsychologie und Kinderpsychiatrie, 67(2), 154-180.


Dr. Ruth Wendt Dr. Ruth Wendt
Tel.: ---