Study sheds light on young people’s well-being and digital behaviour

VELUX FONDEN has commissioned VIVE – the Danish Centre for Social Science Research – to map the relationship between young people’s well-being and their digital behaviour. The researchers point out that young people who feel lonely are more likely to spend time in front of the screen than young people who are flourishing.

- "We commissioned VIVE to conduct the study because several researchers have highlighted the need to clarify whether there is a link between the growing use of digital media and virtual communities by children and young people and the increase in poor mental health among the group, says Vibeke Lybecker, head of programmes for VELUX FONDEN’s social initiatives in Denmark. Within this funding area, there is, among other things, a focus on encouraging vulnerable children and young people to join constructive communities.

Digital communities

Previous VIVE reports (in Danish) have shown that there has been a sharp increase in the number of young people’s digital communities, and that Danish young people are among those who spend least time physically with their friends compared to young people in other European countries.

The VIVE study reveals, for example, that:

  • Young people who are not thriving or who feel lonely are more inclined to spend more time in front of a screen than young people who are thriving.
  • Young people who thrive best spend less time in front of the screen, but chat more often with friends than young people who thrive least.

The study does not reveal whether it is cause and effect: Do children and adolescents feel lonely because they are spending time in front of the screen, or are they using the screen because they feel lonely? The researchers therefore suggest that more knowledge is needed about online risks for Danish children.

VELUX FONDEN has granted DKK 800,000 to the study.

Read more

VIVE’s new study contains new special processing runs and special analyses of data from the surveys ‘Children and Young People in Denmark – Welfare and Well-being’ published in 2010, 2014 and 2018. The study consists of two reports: 

  • Literature review on the well-being and use of digital media by children and young people: Overview of key issues, dynamics and results related to children and young people’s digital behaviour.
  • Empirical analyses of the links between digital consumption and the well-being of Danish young people: Presentation of new survey findings from VIVE’s data set on Children and Young People in Denmark.

Find and read the survey reports on the VIVE website (in Danish).

Vibeke Lybecker
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, VELUX FONDEN
+45 23 80 69 80
Anna Høxbro Bak
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 22 64 03 55