A vida digital das crianças em tempos de Covid-19: práticas digitais, segurança e bem-estar de crianças entre os 6 e os 18 anos

Patrícia Dias, Rita Brito

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report



This report presents the national results of the study “The Digital Lives of Children in Covid-19 Times: Digital practices, safety and wellbeing of children between 6 and 18 years old”, coordinated by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, e conducted in 15 European countries. The goal of the study was mapping the digital practices of families with children during the mandatory lockdown period due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the study also aimed to understand the impact of this period in changes of practices and perceptions of both parents and children. The methodology is mixed, including an online survey to a representative sample of 509 Portuguese families with children between 10 and 18 years old, and in-depth interviews to 10 diversified families with children between 6 and 12 years old. Both data collection techniques focused on different topics, among which we highlight the digital practices of the children during lockdown, parental mediation, the perceptions of children and parents about opportunities and risks associated to the use of digital technologies, que acquisition or development of digital skills during this period, the experience of remote teaching, and the wellbeing of children and adolescents. Finally, we inquired the families about the future impact that they predicted for this lockdown period. Among the main findings, we stress the intensification of the digital practices of children, either for the purpose of studying, either for entertainment, as well as to maintain the social bonds outside the home. This intensification of the digital practices was an opportunity for the development of new digital skills, many of which driven by the platforms and resources that each school adopted for remote teaching. Some children reported that their exposure to risks was more frequent that it used to be before, as well as difficulties in managing their own use of digital media, which they recognized as excessive. These aspects are a source of concern for parents. Both parents and children are also concerned about the possibility of having a worse school performance as a repercussion of remote teaching. The children present good wellbeing levels, and some even appreciated the opportunity to spend more time with their families, but they also miss face to face interaction with other family members, friends and teachers. Possible lessons or changes for the future are clouded, at the moment of data collection, by the valorization of the limitations and losses that were inherent to the lockdown period. Digital technologies are acknowledged as vital for the maintenance of many activities, and of the “possible normal”. However, they are considered a solution with shortcomings when compared to pre-Covid times, and both parents and children desire to resume their pre-pandemic lifestyle as soon as possible.
Original languagePortuguese
Number of pages104
ISBN (Electronic)9789895471928
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Children (6-18)
  • Families
  • Digital technologies
  • Parental mediation
  • Digital practices
  • Perceptions
  • Pandemic
  • Covid-19
  • Lockdown
  • Remote teaching
  • Wellbeing

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