The Effects of Dark Design on Children’s Digital Well-Being and Its Implications for Sharenting

Laurel Cook, West Virginia University
Alexa Fox, The University of Akron
Lin Ong, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
Claire Bessant, Northumbria University
Pingping Gan, Iowa State University
Mariea Grubbs Hoy, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Emma Nottingham, University of Winchester
Beatriz Pereira, Iowa State University
Stacey Barell Steinberg, University of Florida

Award Amount: $2,500


Online decisions of children and their parents may be influenced by intentionally deceptive user interfaces known as dark design. The attention, time, and information of children garnered by such design practices often go undetected or are discounted by parents and caregivers. Effects on a child’s well-being and safety appear obvious but are not yet understood and empirically tested. Using a multimethod approach, the current research concerns dark design’s influence (1) across mediums (e.g., apps, video games, social media platforms, websites), (2) across age groups for children, and (3) on parents’ sharenting choices, decision-making, and behaviors.


Engage with Us

TCR creates opportunities for engagements between practitioners, funders and researchers, and supports efforts of scholars and practitioners to disseminate and publicize their research and work, and obtain mentoring and advice on grant applications.

While many of these opportunities are freely available, we encourage scholars and practitioners to become a member of the Association of Consumer Research to help continue funding our work and to obtain additional benefits.