Digital Families Research Network


The network is currently under review but if you are interested in the Digital Families Research Network contact us at

Seminar – Parenting for a Digital Future; preparing for the unknown April 2019.  

Past Research Workshops 2017/2018

View other resources

The Digital Families Research Network brought together academics, practitioners and policymakers to share information about the ways in which digital technologies impacted on families and relationships.  The specific aims of the Network were:

  1. To pursue new collaborative research on issues identified through the Network
  2. To make better use of research on issues identified by Network Members
  3. To develop a platform for knowledge exchange in relation to new and existing research
  4. To host events with themes that will bring people together for useful discussion
  5. To influence national and local policy makers

Digital Families Across the Lifecourse (Knowledge Exchange project in partnership with SUII)

Information sheet pictureThis project took the form of series of 3 seminars held in 2015/16. Read the summary report  from the programme and view the resources below.

There is increasing interest in the influence of digital technologies on everyday life. The Scottish Government’s ambition is to increase the use of broadband across all communities in Scotland. Aims to improve the digital health of our population, to promote internet safety, and use technologies to support learning are well established. The digital families programme adds to this growing body of knowledge by providing opportunities to explore the increasing presence of domestic digital technologies within family life, and to debate both the benefits and pressures these technologies bring. Organised within three groupings – childhoods, family life and older age and caring – the programme addresses a range of issues, including:

  • the different experiences of rural and urban families;
  • the role of digital communication in the lives of trans-national families;
  • the impact of digital technologies on cross generational relationships within families;
  • the contributions that digital technologies can have in maintaining and developing social networks across the lifecourse;
  • the effect of digital technologies on education, work/life balance, lifelong learning and wellbeing; and
  • the social and economic inequalities that arise from different access to, and adoption and use of, technologies across the lifecourse
  • the differential experiences of ‘digital natives’ vs ‘digital immigrants’

This programme considers these issues within a broader political and social context, to focus our understandings of the impact of domestic technologies on family life and to create a vision for research, policy and practice in Scotland.

Project team
Dr Sarah Morton, University of Edinburgh
Professor Natasha Mauthner, University of Aberdeen
Clare Simpson, Parenting Across Scotland
Professor Samantha Punch, University of Stirling

Relevant reading
A series of 3 briefings from an earlier seminar series by Joanna McPake, Christine Stephen, Lydia Plowman.
Briefing 1, Briefing 2, Briefing 3

DigitalchildWResources from Seminar 1 – ‘Children and digital technologies’
19 November 2015

Digital Families Seminar 1 – Summary Briefing

Seminar introduction

Christine Stephen – Digital childhood and early years

Natalia Kucirkova – Digital childhood: Myths and realities

Discussion points
Children and digital technology infographic

homeboxdigitalResources from Seminar 2 – ‘Digital families are here to stay’
26 February 2016

Digital Families Seminar 2 – Summary Briefing

Introduction, aims & discussion points

Digital families film

Alyson Mitchell – Scottish Government – Digital Families

Natasha Mauthner & Karolina Kazimierczak – Work & family practices in a digital age

Juliet Jain – Mobile working and digital glimses into family life

Sophie Bowlby – Letting them know thinking of them loving them

Alex Stobart – Life and times in a family-centred digital Scotland

Storify record of seminar

DF&olderpeopleResources from Seminar 3 – ‘Digital technologies, older age and caring’
13 April 2016

Digital Families Seminar 3 – Summary Briefing


Introduction, aims & discussion points

Caroline Marchant – Children and their grandparents – practices across the generations in the digital world

Grant Gibson – How people with dementia make technology work for them

Maggie Mort – Telecare for older people at home – some ethical issues

Gregory Hill O’Connor – perspectives from the Third Sector

Val Bissland – Perspectives from the Scottish Older People’s Assembly (SOPA)

SOPA Telehealthcare film

Storify record of seminar

The ‘Digital families across the lifecourse’ project was funded by the Scottish Universities Insight Institute.

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