The Virtual Arena: A Call for a New Domain of Child Subjective Well-Being

Yochay Nadan*, Avital Kaye-Tzadok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore subjective perceptions, perspectives and ascribed meanings of well-being among children aged 8–12 in diverse communities in Israel. Thirty five children participated in the study in eight focus group interviews. One major theme that emerged from the focus group analysis is children’s lived experiences in the virtual arena, including new media and social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp). Within this theme, three main sub-themes were identified, delineating different aspects of children’s lives in the virtual arena: between risk and protection, negotiating peer relationships, and the absence or engagement of adults. Our findings point to both positive and negative aspects of our participants’ experiences in the virtual arena and indicate the centrality and significance of technology in their lives, especially as an arena through which children communicate with friends and family and in which their social relationships are practiced. Based on our findings, we propose that the virtual arena has become central to children’s lives and, as such, can be considered a new domain in exploring children’s subjective well-being.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)461-477
Number of pages17
JournalChild Indicators Research
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Children
  • New media
  • Qualitative research
  • Social media
  • Subjective well-being
  • Virtual arena

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