While the Internet is part of everyday life for many children, inequalities exist in their digital skills, with little known about the influence of perceived discrimination on these inequalities. Building on survey data collected from nationally representative samples of 10,820 children aged 12–16 in 14 European countries, we seek to understand whether and how disadvantaged children may fall behind their more advantaged peers across Europe with respect to digital skills, as well as the role played by perceived individual and social discrimination in acquiring these skills. The findings show that perceived individual and social discrimination affect the relationships of socio-cultural resources (age, gender, preference for online social interaction) and personal resources (self-efficacy) with digital skills. Therefore, even in countries where Internet use is an integral part of children’s lives, interventions should be made to prevent perceived offline discrimination translating into digital inequalities.
Please cite the study as:
Mascheroni, G., Cino, D., Mikuška, J., & Smahel, D. (2022). Explaining inequalities in vulnerable children’s digital skills: The effect of individual and social discrimination. New Media & Society, 24(2), 437–457. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211063184
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