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ERIC Number: ED627054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2022-Apr
Pages: 42
Abstractor: ERIC
Insights into Young People's Literacy, Critical Digital Literacy, Online Communication and Wellbeing. A National Literacy Trust Research Report
Picton, Irene; Clark, Christina; Riad, Lara; Cole, Aimee
National Literacy Trust
Concern about the negative impact of the digital world on young people has increased in recent years (see, e.g., Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport [DCMS], 2021; United Nations, 2021). A growing body of research explores aspects of young people's online lives and mental wellbeing (see, e.g., Kandola et al., 2021, Kelly et al., 2018, Orben & Przybylski, 2019). To date, however, fewer studies have examined the relationship between literacy and critical digital literacy engagement and wellbeing. This report presents findings from a survey exploring young people's attitudes and behaviours when navigating online environments. The survey's design was informed by a review of the literature, focus group discussions with young people, and interviews with academic and industry experts, and it reached 7,494 young people aged 11 to 16 in late 2021. Findings indicate that high literacy engagement is associated with better critical digital literacy attitudes and behaviours. In turn, compared with young people with low critical digital literacy engagement, nearly three times as many young people with high critical digital literacy had high mental wellbeing (11.6% vs 30.2%). Such findings suggest that young people with low literacy engagement are at risk of missing out in the digital age, and that supporting young people to develop confident, critical approaches to reading, writing and communicating both on and offline may have the potential to support wellbeing. This is likely to be of growing importance as our dependence on digital forms of communication increases. We would like to thank The Sir Halley Stewart Trust for their support for this project, which we believe is particularly timely in helping support effective digital engagement alongside the changes in regulation anticipated in the Online Safety Bill. [For the summary report, see ED627055.]
National Literacy Trust. Swire House, 59 Buckingham Gate, London, SW1E 6AJ, UK. Tel: +44-2078-282435; Fax: +44-2079-319986; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Sir Halley Stewart Trust (United Kingdom)
Authoring Institution: National Literacy Trust (United Kingdom)
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A