Family all looking at different digital devices

New Topline Findings report on digital social contacts

A new European Social Survey (ESS) report that analysed data measuring the use of digital communication was launched at an online event earlier today (Tuesday 17 October).

The report - Topline Findings issue 12: Digital social contacts in work and family life - was launched by two of its authors: Anja-Kristin Abendroth-Sohl and Laura Lükemann (University of Bielefeld).

The authors presented their initial conclusions from a rotating module that measured digital communication in the work and family lives of respondents.

30 questions on the topic were included in Round 10 (2020-22) of our survey for the first time, and the early findings were presented at a webinar.

The report’s analysis focuses on data from 31 countries measuring the frequency of speaking to, or communicating digitally with, colleagues, managers, children and parents.

Attitudes on whether online communication interrupts work and family life or makes it easier to coordinate activities are also explored.

The report was written by all members of the questionnaire design team who successfully applied for the questions to be included.

Other authors were Francesco Billari (Bocconi University), Eszter Hargittai (University of Zurich), Judith Treas (University of California) and Tanja Van der Lippe (Utrecht University).

Due to the pandemic, ESS Round 10 fieldwork was longer than usual, with interviews conducted from September 2020 until August 2022.

As a result of measures implemented nationally to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, countries were allowed to conduct the survey using self-completion modes for the first time.

It means that 24 countries collected data in line with previous rounds, using face-to-face interviews, and the remaining nine used self-completion methods (online and paper).

As a result of data being collected using different modes over a longer period than in previous rounds, please refer to our short briefing: Note on ESS Round 10 data release.

Icon of two people sitting at desks communicating via digital devices.

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Stefan Swift
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