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 The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>