Much panic today about childhood in urban areas is based on a very partial picture, argue the authors, Dr Susie Weller and Professor Irene Brugel, of the Families and Social Capital ESRC research group, London South Bank University.
Their report challenges previous theories that social networks are largely determined by parents. According to the evidence they found, children are active - both indirectly and directly – in forging neighbourly relationships and connections for their parents.
The findings are from a three-year study involving some 600 children and 80 parents in five contrasting areas - two inner London boroughs, an outer London suburb, a new town in the South East of England, and a city in the Midlands. During the study, the researchers examined children’s experiences of travelling to school and to a wide range of activities outside the home - from formal clubs to hanging out in the park.
They found that the more parents were involved in the lives of their neighbours, the more freedom they gave their children. At the same time, the more social networks children have in a neighbourhood, the greater parents’ confidence in the safety of that area.
Many parents questioned were often torn between wishing to protect their children and wanting them to be streetwise.
Dr Weller said: “On the one hand, children are frequently portrayed as vulnerable, incompetent, and in need of protection from the possible dangers of town and city streets. On the other, those allowed to go out and meet up in public areas are often regarded as intimidating and anti-social.”
However, many parents suggested that they had established more networks and friendships in the local area through their children than by any other means. This contact came via ante-natal classes, the nursery and the primary school, or through their children’s friends’ families.
Parents acknowledged that their children had much less freedom to roam or explore the neighbourhood than they enjoyed. They saw this as a problem, and would generally like the youngsters to be out and about more.
Said Dr Weller: “Whether the children were or not depended on a number of things. Very often it reflected a local school culture as well as parents’ and children’s experiences of trust and mistrust in an area. Parents whose children had been subject to racial harassment or bullying were particularly wary."
The research suggests that when parents allow their children to roam, their classmate’s parents draw from that confidence. This in turn impacts upon their classmates’ freedom of action.
The researchers also found local differences as to which children go out and about without adults, and these were not simply related to poverty, racial background or local levels of crime.
Children living outside London were much less likely to travel unaccompanied than those in the capital - and those who went to schools with high rates of poverty least of all. Even so, children at schools with similar levels of local poverty in Inner London travelled more than those living elsewhere.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University
Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences
16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
16.08.2018 | Life Sciences