This research was supported by Grant #410-98-1514 to the first and second authors from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The authors thank Florence Broder, Jennifer Crosbie, Mitchelle Johnson, Rommel Robertson, and Janis Wolfe for their assistance with data collection and analysis; Charles Helwig for his helpful comments regarding the manuscript; and the students who participated in the study.
College Students' Attitudes Toward Children's Nurturance and Self-Determination Rights1
Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 33, Issue 4, pages 730–755, April 2003
How to Cite
Peterson-Badali, M., Ruck, M. D. and Ridley, E. (2003), College Students' Attitudes Toward Children's Nurturance and Self-Determination Rights. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33: 730–755. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2003.tb01922.x
- Issue online: 31 JUL 2006
- Version of Record online: 31 JUL 2006
Increasing attention is being paid to children's rights issues in policy and law. However, there is little recent research examining adults’ attitudes toward children's rights. This is an important question given that children's rights are unlikely to be fulfilled if they are not supported by the adults involved in their lives. Attitudes toward nurturance and self-determination rights were examined in 461 undergraduate students from the United States and Canada. Students were asked to think of a “target child” (8, 10, 12, 14, or 16 years) when answering the questions. Students strongly endorsed nurturance rights, but were generally unsupportive of children's rights to self-determination. Canadians showed greater support for self-determination than did Americans. In both groups, endorsement increased significantly with the age of the target child. Commenting on factors they considered when responding to the items, participants perceived children's rights as dependent on personal, interpersonal, and societal factors.