Parenting in the age of social media

Opportunities or disruptions?

Exploring the impact and influence of social media on Australian parents’ experiences of early parenting


Parenting is the core driver of children’s health and development. It is shaped by multiple contexts including social and cultural environments. Recently, one of the most pervasive and ubiquitous socio-cultural environments for parents has been online.Technological advancements in the availability, accessibility and penetration of social media have changed parents’ access to information and support. Social media has disrupted the traditional contexts of parenting, but for better or worse? How much is parenting influenced by social media?

Little is known about the influence of social media on new parents’ social and emotional wellbeing, parenting self-efficacy, their attitudes, decision-making and behaviours in Australia. This innovative research will explore how social media is shaping parenting, and identify the impacts of this technological transformation for Australian parents.

The research project is funded by La Trobe University, Transforming Human Societies Research Focus Area, Scheme 2, 2018.


We are undertaking a two-phase, mixed methods research design:

Phase 1: We are conducting semi-structured qualitative interviews with parents of young children (aged 0-2 years) and expectant parents in the third trimester of pregnancy.

Phase 2: We are conducting a cross-sectional, national online survey with parents of young children (aged 0-2 years), and expectant parents in the third trimester of pregnancy.