Research Output

Scary faces, scary places: children's perceptions of risk and safety.

  Risks to children have been defined from an adult perspective with little or no space given to hearing from children themselves. In this paper we discuss children's perceptions of risk and safety. Children's risk landscapes were con tingent on a range of contextual factors - space, time, people, actions. Their assessment of risk was based on knowledge gained from a range of sources and from their own direct experiences. While children may have expected their parents to protect them, they also expected there to be some negotiation, and a balance to be reached between protection and restriction. The data presented are from a project, 'The Impact of Risk and Parental Risk Anxiety on the Everyday Worlds of Children', which explored children's landscapes of risk and safety. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with children, aged 9- 15 years, in rural and urban locations in Scotland.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    29 February 2000

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  • Library of Congress:

    HQ The family. Marriage. Woman

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    305 Social groups


Harden, J., Backett-Milburn, K., Scott, S. & Jackson, S. (2000). Scary faces, scary places: children's perceptions of risk and safety. Health Education Journal. 59, 12-22. doi:10.1177/001789690005900103. ISSN 0017-8969


Children; safety; risk; perception; Scotland;

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