Ellen Middaugh, PhD


Associate Professor, Child & Adolescent Development

Ellen Middaugh's research is guided by the question, “How do youth become effective advocates for themselves and their communities in the digital age?” She is interested in how the internet and participatory media enable and constrain civic participation. Dr. Middaugh conducts research on how youth use social media to express public voice and build community, youth practices as they encounter misinformation and hostility online, and educational interventions designed to help support informed, ethical and empowered civic engagement. Her research focuses on youth broadly but with special interest in the experiences of those who may be excluded or misrepresented by powerful civic institutions.


  • Ph.D., Human Development and Education, UC Berkeley
  • B.A., Psychology, George Washington University

Recent Publications

  • Middaugh, E. (Under Review). Online conflict in civic discourse: Impact of incidental exposure on youth civic engagement.
  • Izenstark, D., Crossman, K.A., & Middaugh, E. (2021) Examining family-based nature activities among Latinx students: contexts for reinforcing family relationships and cultural heritage. Annals of Leisure Research.
  • Golloher, A. N., & Middaugh, E. (2020, July). Diversity Dialogues: Online discussions impact on teacher candidates’ adoption of characteristics of inclusive teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education.
  • Middaugh, E. & Asato, J. (2020). Building civic literacy through geospatial play. In A. Garcia, S. Witte & J. Dahl (Eds) Playing in the Classroom: Games, Literacies, and Youth Culture in the 21st Century. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • Middaugh, E. (2019). Teens, social media and fake news. Chapter 3. In W. Journell (Ed). Fake news: What it is, why it is problematic, and what educators can do about it. New York: Teachers College Press. Approved by Review Board June, 2018. Publication date March 22, 2019.
  • Middaugh, E. (2019). More than just facts: Promoting civic media literacy in the era of outrage. Peabody Journal of Education. Published online before print. Doi: 10.1080/0161956X.2019.1553582.

  • Sorkhabi, N. & Middaugh, E. (2019). Domain-specific parenting practices and adolescent self-esteem, problem behaviors, and social and academic competence. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 28, 505-18. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10826-018-1270-6

Recent Presentations

  • Felton, M., Middaugh, E. and Fan, H. (2021). Facts don’t speak for themselves: Discussing evidence about Covid-19 in three Reddit communities. Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the European Association for Research in Teaching and Learning.
  • Middaugh, E. & Felton, M. (2021). Capturing nuance on social media: Attending to the role of platform, topic and dialogic aims in online political discourse. Paper presented at Pragmasophia 3.
  • Middaugh, E., Felton, M., & Fan, H. (2021). “People can get really harsh,” Supporting youth engagement with contemporary issues through social media. Symposium paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
  • Middaugh, E., Felton, M., & Fan, H. (2020). Building productive online civic discourse: Examining the intersection of platform, issue and individual aims. Panel paper presented at the Association of Internet Researchers Conference 2020. Dublin, Ireland.
  • Golloher, A. & Middaugh, E. (2020). AERA Diversity Dialogues: Online Discussions to Encourage the Adoption of Characteristics of Inclusive Teacher. Paper accepted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Research Association, San Francisco, CA. (Conference Cancelled)
  • Middaugh, E., Sorkhabi, N. & Harrison, T. (2020). Social Media and Adolescent Expectations of Privacy: Implications for Parenting in the Digital Age. Accepted for Poster Presentation at Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, March, 2020, San Diego. (Conference Cancelled)

Noteworthy Grants and Awards

  • 2015 LCOE Faculty RSCA Award, $5,000

Online Resources

Areas of Research Interest

  • Adolescent
  • Civic education
  • Civic engagement, youth
  • Community
  • Critical consciousness
  • Digital media
  • Participatory media
  • Social media

Recommended Reading

Personality Playlist

Listen to Ellen's playlist below and access all of the personality playlists on our Lurie College of Education Spotify account