Behavioural and health impacts of raising children in a digital household – MRes Scholarship

Ymddiheurwn, nid yw’r testun hwn ar gael yn y Gymraeg

ESF LogoBehavioural and health impacts of raising children in a digital household 

This project will be collaborative between School of Education and Human Development and School of Health Sciences, Bangor University.

Project ID: BUK2E044
Annual Stipend: £11,586
Application Deadline: 6th February 2021
Interviews: 17th December 2020

We are seeking a highly capable and motivated graduate for this exciting opportunity to undertake a Masters in Research (MRes). This is a collaborative project with a diverse team from the Collaborative Institute for Education Research, Evidence and Impact, School of Education, Public Health Collaborating Unit, School of Health Sciences;; and the Policy and International Health, World Health Collaborating Centre on Investment for Health and Well-being directorate, Public Health Wales.

Emerging evidence suggests that parental use of technology (e.g. mobile phones, laptops, tablets, games consoles) in which they use devices during interactions with their child (also referred to as “phubbing” and “technoference”), can lead to a negative impact to the parent-child relationship, not only in young children, but adolescents as well. Researchers have found increased parental phubbing was negatively associated with parent-child attachment, which can lead to poor mental well-being and delinquent behaviour (e.g. violent behaviour, smoking). Moreover, negative associations have been found between adolescents perceptions of their parents technoference and their mental health (i.e. anxiety, depression) and cyberbullying. To date the majority of research in this area has been undertaken externally to the UK, highlighting a gap in the literature.

The first stage of the project will be to undertake a scoping review to synthesise the evidence to better understand the relationship between parents’ use of technology on children’s technology use, deviant behaviours (e.g. violence, cyberbullying) and mental health (e.g. anxiety, depression). The second stage of the project would be to design a questionnaire, drawing on findings identified in the scoping review, and undertake a cross-sectional survey to explore the identified relationships in secondary schools in North Wales.

This Masters by Research project is expected to start on the 1st March 2021 (or as close to) and take one year to complete. The KESS scholar will be based in the School of Education and supervised collaboratively by the following: Dr Nia Williams (Education and Human Development, Bangor University), Dr Catherine Sharp (University of Bristol), and Prof Karen Hughes (Public Health Wales). The applicants should hold a good degree in public health, psychology, childhood and youth studies education or a related scientific discipline, have demonstrably excellent research skills, and relevant experience.

For more information, or informal enquiries, please email Dr Nia Williams.

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter to and cc to Penny Dowdney ( 

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS 2) is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.