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Measuring Young People’s Participation in Decision Making

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What Young People Say

image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

Young people are frequently exhorted to participate ‘more’ in decision making, both formally and informally. Paradoxically, no standard or comprehensively used measurement tool through which young people’s right to participate in decision making exists. However, a range of participation scales have been developed and these mainly adult-generated tools feature prominently in literature, impacting upon, and informing policy and participative practice. Yet, despite the emphasis on young people’s right to participate in those things which affect them, including how their participation is measured, examples of young person-generated approaches to understanding the extent of their decision making are somewhat elusive. Drawing upon research undertaken in Swansea to explore how young people thought their participation in decision making should be measured, this article focuses and reflects upon the development of an appropriate, participative methodology, the views which young people offered through the enquiry, and the construction of a new participation measurement scale.

Affiliations: 1: Centre for Criminal Justice and Criminology, Swansea, Wales, UK,;


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