Young male student using his mobile phone

Youth and digital networking research

Explore our work in youth and digital networking, an area of expertise within our Education research

The growth of social media has seen young people migrate their lives online, and our Youth and Digital Networking research explores how young people aged 13-19 use social media and digital technologies in their daily lives – from the ways in which they manage their identity and self-narrative online, to how they network with their peers and families. 

One of the primary issues we deal with is the notion of e-safety and online risk, and our research is exploring the factors behind cyberbullying, young people's perceptions of it, and the issues caused by the breakdown of relationships online.

We're also finding new strategies to help young people deal with cyberbullying, and exploring the ways in which students can have a greater voice in identifying the issues they face online. And by making it easier for young people to relate their experiences online, we can grow our understanding of how to tackle these problems. 

Our research is frequently published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Youth Studies.

Our research focuses on the following key topics

  • Youth and digital networking
  • Glocalisation: dissemination of global trends and discourses in local contexts
  • Consumer culture - consuming identity and meaning through technologies and online resources
  • Youth cultures and media influence

Partnerships and Collaborations

We work in close collaboration with local secondary schools in Portsmouth and across West Sussex, with regional Integrated Prevention and Earliest Help (IPEH) services, and Sussex Police.

Recent publication highlights include

Discover our areas of expertise

Youth and digital networking is one of our 5 areas of expertise in Education research – explore the others below.

Research groups

We're researching education and childhood, with a focus on social justice and the right of the child.
We're researching all aspects of higher education policies and practices which impact on the staff and student experience.
We're promoting research and projects in the field of mental health in childhood, from wellbeing in early years to bullying in schools.

Interested in a PhD in Education?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Education postgraduate research degrees page.