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 Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

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: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>