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Urban Youth’s Views of Children’s Nurturance and Self-determination Rights: An Exploratory Study

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The present qualitative study examined low-income urban adolescents’ understanding of children’s rights. Using a written instrument, sixteen 11–15 year olds responded to hypothetical vignettes in which a child story character expresses the desire to exercise a nurturance or self-determination right. Participants were asked whether they, their parents, and their peers would support the story characters’ rights and to provide justifications for their responses. Results indicated that in general participants were in favour of supporting children’s nurtur­ance and self-determination rights. However, participants believed that while their parents would support children’s nurturance rights they would show less support for children’s self-determination rights. In contrast, participants suggested that their peers would likely reject children’s nurturance rights but support the story-character’s self-determination rights. The types of explanations young people used to explain their thinking showed clear differences for nurturance and self-determination rights. Findings are discussed in relation to the available theory and research on young people’s views and understanding of children’s rights.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology, The Graduate Center, City University of New York

10.1163/157181812X640781
/content/journals/10.1163/157181812x640781
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2012-01-01
2016-12-04

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