Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Parents blind to children’s risk taking & skilled risk management

12.12.2007
Researchers at the University of Warwick and the Research Unit for General Practice in Copenhagen have found that parents are often totally unaware of just how often their children take risks and just how good they are at managing that risk.

The researchers found children indulge in a great deal of thoughtful and considered risk taking that is invisible to adults. On average the researchers found that while children may make misjudgements, they do not, as is sometimes assumed, ‘blindly’ throw themselves into risk-taking behaviours.

The study looked at children aged 10-12 in a Copenhagen suburb. They were observed for 8 months to see how they engaged with risk away from their parents in their everyday life at school, at an after-school centre and in their local community.

The researchers found many examples of how children actively engage with risk and daily manage situations that involve chance and risk. They actively decided how much risk to expose themselves to, avoided harmful actions, made assessments of their own bodily capacity and gauged risk in accordance with it; and even successfully negotiated levels of risks with other children by setting and amending the rules and physical limits to their games and activities.

One particular example observed as a popular games called ‘Hill’ played almost every break-time. The game took place on an asphalted slope framed by two brick walls in the middle of the playground. Every break time one child would be the ‘catcher’, and would try to catch other children as they ran at high speed across the slope between two safe zones at either end of the slope. This is one typical conversation about the game:

Kim: Who wants to play ‘Hill’?
Chris: I cannot be bothered if you are allowed to push.
Tommy : Yes! You are not allowed to push.
Jan: No, then it’s not fun.
Chris: But, I’m not bothered [joining in the playing] if you are allowed to push so hard, that you get your head down in the asphalt.
Andy: No, you are not allowed to push that hard.
Jan: If you are not allowed to push then there is no real challenge in it.
Kim: Let’s vote about it? Who votes that you are allowed to push?
All the boys except Chris put their hand up.
Michael: OK, you are allowed to push. But shouldn’t we say that you have to hold firmly in the clothes when one pushes so they don’t fall.
Chris: OK, if you hold onto the clothes then I would like to [participate in the game].

Tommy: You are not allowed to push in such a way, that there are two children against one, who pushes.

The boys, still in the classroom, then enthusiastically discussed how hard and in which ways they were allowed to push each other and at the same time ensuring the pleasure of fun they associated with the game:

The researchers’ observations suggest that physical risk was less common among the girls studied but that that girls took more “emotional risks” for instance making the first move to form friendships.

In general when boys played with girls they acted more carefully and considerately than they would do in boy-to-boy interactions because they perceived girls as generally more vulnerable than boys. In the girls’ accounts, they did not necessarily see themselves as more vulnerable than the boys but would, on the other hand, frequently express their wish not to be involved in rough play. Both when girls played with each other and especially when the girls played with boys, they took great pains to control the level of violence of their own actions and to express their own limits.

University of Warwick Professor Pia Christensen said:

“Many parents would be amazed if they realised just how often their children take risks and just how good they are at managing that risk. This risk taking helps them gain a clear understanding of the strengths and limits of their bodies and prepares them for interaction with the real world beyond the often over protected home”

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/parents_blind_to/

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>