LSE is delighted to participate in The Nurture Network (eNurture) led by Professor Sonia Livingstone as Deputy Director.
The social worlds that children and young people occupy are increasingly complex, and there are urgent public and professional concerns that children’s mental health is at risk. Of the many influences on children’s mental health, this network examines how the digital world is changing the way young people interact with family, school and peers and what these changes mean for children's mental health.
In working with the multidisciplinary team at eNurture, Sonia brings critical attention to the opportunities and risks of the digital environment for children and young people.
Key issues include, first, how uses of digital technologies may mediate or exacerbate mental health problems? And, second, how uses of digital technologies may enable more efficient or scalable or confidential mental health tools?
The Nurture Network (eNurture) is a UKRI funded network that fosters new collaborations to promote children and young people’s mental health in a digital world. Between 2018-23, the network will bring together academic researchers, professional advisers and partners from public, private and third sector organisations. As a network of cross-disciplinary professionals, eNurture will:
- Explore how the digital environment is changing how children interact with family, school and peers and what these changes mean for children’s mental health.
- Develop strategies to recognise and disentangle digital risks from opportunities in intervention programmes designed to improve mental health outcomes for children and young people.
- Connect the latest evidence with emerging practice models involving digital platforms and interventions so as to reduce negative mental health trajectories for children and young people.
See the full project website here: https://www.enurture.org.uk/
The Nurture Network will identify, research, fund and deliver a range of innovative activities urgently needed to promote children and young people’s mental health in a digital world.
- The network will engage with our partners’ organisations, academic and youth-led communities to understand and identify new avenues and topics of enquiry. Outputs from these engagements will guide future network activities.
- The engagement programme will explore mental health issues related to the digital world with community groups, youth organisations, teachers and parents to ensure their voices inform the Open Commissioning process. This includes the creation of a Youth Panel that will contribute to the commissioning and assessment of project proposals.
- Seed funding will be offered to network partners, communities and academics to run Open Events to explore topics in depth and identify which modes of collaborative work and research are optimal to foster new knowledge.
- These might include workshops, sandpits and seminar events. These will include children and young people, and the outcomes will be used to guide the Open Commissioning programme.
- Network members that apply for funding will be invited to events designed to help finalise applications. These events will provide feedback and opportunities to revise applications to ensure applications are well aligned to eNurture objectives.
- The Nurture Network will run an Open Commissioning programme to fund short and longer-term research collaborations between partners and academic communities that directly respond to the issues and questions identified through the network’s engagement activities.
- Small (£2k-£10k), medium (£10k-£25k) and larger funds (up to £45k) will support short-term research, feasibility and pilot studies or longer research collaborations between network partners and members, early research career researches (ECRs) and academics that directly respond to the challenges identified by network’s partners. These may include follow-on funding to scale pilot projects, the design of ‘proof of concept’, and other more substantial projects emerging from this network with the potential to generate future research opportunities. Multidisciplinary collaborations between partners and ECRs are encouraged and support will be available during the project proposal planning stage.
- Outputs, events and commissions will be shared internally and also disseminated widely. The network will commission policy papers drawing from all activities to provide targeted guidance valuable for policy making and practice.
Sonia Livingstone OBE is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE.
This project is funded by the ESRC (Sep 2018-Aug 2022)