United Kingdom Children Go Online, 2003-2005


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

This is a mixed methods data collection. Many United Kingdom households, especially those with children, now have access to the internet although, importantly, some do not. The growing significance of the internet in our lives raises many questions for social scientists, policy makers and the public - about access and inequalities, the nature and quality of use, the implications for education, family life and social relationships and the balance between online risks and opportunities. The research project United Kingdom Children Go Online (UKCGO) conducted a thorough investigation of 9-19 year olds' use of the internet between 2003 and 2005. Work was conducted with girls and boys of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds across the UK in order to ask how the internet may be transforming, or may itself be shaped by, family life, peer networks and education. The research combined qualitative focus group and paired interviews and observations in schools and households with a national, in-home, Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) face-to-face survey of 1,511 children 9-19 years old, together with a self-completion questionnaire to 906 parents of the 9-17 years olds, exploring the nature and meaning of children’s internet use and mapping emerging patterns of attitudes and practices across diverse contexts and social groups. UKCGO balances an assessment of online risks and opportunities in order to contribute to developing academic debates and policy frameworks for children and young people's internet use by asking, amongst other things: how children and young people are accessing and using the internet; how families differ in their responses to the internet; what the internet means to them; and, most importantly whether some light can be shed on the consequences of widespread internet use. The research design included three phases:Phase 1: 14 focus groups conducted with 9-19 year olds around the UK, together with eight family visits and a children's online advisory panelPhase 2: A national, in-home, 40-minute face-to-face survey of 1,511 9-19 year olds, together with a self-completion questionnaire to 906 parents of the 9-17 year oldsPhase 3: 13 focus group/paired-depth interviews, together with children's online panel Further information and reports relating to the project can be found at the UKCGO web site United Kingdom Children Go Online Related study European Union Kids Online: Enhancing Knowledge Regarding European Children's Use, Risk and Safety Online, 2010 is also held at the UK Data Archive under study number 6885. The project aimed to enhance the knowledge base regarding children’s and parents’ experiences and practices of risk and safety in their use of the internet and new online technologies in Europe covering 25 EU countries.

Main Topics:

Specific topics focused on were: access, inequalities and the digital divide; undesirable forms of content and contact; education, informal learning and literacy; communication, identity and participation; parental regulation of media use, literacy risks, and opportunities of internet use.

Multi-stage stratified random sample

Face-to-face interview



Focus group

Online panel

DOI http://doi.org/10.5255/UKDA-SN-5475-1
Metadata Access https://datacatalogue.cessda.eu/oai-pmh/v0/oai?verb=GetRecord&metadataPrefix=oai_ddi25&identifier=e5c0e656a285eafc9f137fb93d6d69a0e3c4ac9ccb9e7c0aab1641c279c92f2b
Creator Bober, M., London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Media and Communications; Livingstone, S., London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Media and Communications
Publisher UK Data Service
Publication Year 2006
Funding Reference Economic and Social Research Council
Rights Copyright S. Livingstone; <p>The Data Collection is available to UK Data Service registered users subject to the <a href="https://ukdataservice.ac.uk/app/uploads/cd137-enduserlicence.pdf" target="_blank">End User Licence Agreement</a>.</p><p>Commercial use of the data requires approval from the data owner or their nominee. The UK Data Service will contact you.</p>
OpenAccess true
Language English
Resource Type Text; Numeric; Focus Group transcripts; Semi-structured interview transcripts
Discipline Economics; Social and Behavioural Sciences
Spatial Coverage United Kingdom