Supporting children's online identity in international communities

Weimin Hou, Anita Komlodi, Wayne Lutters, Karoly Hercegfi, Jennifer J. Preece, Allison J. Druin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Increasingly, adults and children socialise and communicate online. Children's safe and secure online communication with people from all over the world can increase their understanding of other cultures, which is an important goal in today's multicultural world. Our research studied such interactions between children from three countries, Hungary, Mexico, and the USA. The goals of our research were to study how children represent their identity online and what the implications are for the design of children's online communities. We used qualitative methods to derive a deep understanding of children's behaviours and motivations. Our results show that children exposed their true and complete identities online. They focused on sharing and learning about personal, ethnic, and gender identities via online media and largely ignored cultural identity. They learned about children from other countries and developed positive attitudes towards them. Based on our results we describe design guidelines for children's online identity tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-391
Number of pages17
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 3 2015


  • children
  • identity
  • international children's digital library
  • online communities
  • qualitative research
  • self-representation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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