Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Child Well-Being

pp 437-484

Mediated Well-Being from the Perspective of Media and Communication Studies

  • Divina Frau-MeigsAffiliated withMedia Sociology and English Department, University Sorbonne Nouvelle, PRES Sorbonne Paris-Cité Email author 


This exploration of the relationship between media and children, with well-being at the centre, considers what theories and major scientific research perspectives have prevailed in the field as well as the assumptions, evidence and results over time. It posits the notion of “mediated well-being” and follows its evolution from early media studies (with a strong sociological component) to current multidisciplinary communication studies applied to complex cross and mixed media such as the Internet and its interactive platforms (with a strong psychological and cognitive component).

Such a complex analysis is conducted by considering three types of controversies around well-being in the media that have helped build the field of communication studies itself: effects versus uses, risk versus play, protection versus participation. These considerations lead to an examination of the main methodological approaches adopted in the area and outline a research agenda for further exploration of the relation between media and well-being. This synthetic analysis suggests that the issue of children’s well-being has been central to the construction of the field of media studies in its origins, that content issues have been central to policymaking, and that children should be more incorporated into the research of what happens in the current situation of a two-way shuttle screen, where a lot of transmedia activities are generated by them and for them.