Reframing risk: working with caregivers of children with disabilities to promote risk-taking in play

Patricia Grady-Dominguez*, Kristina Ihrig, Shelly J. Lane, Jennifer Aberle, Kassia Beetham, Jo Ragen, Grace Spencer, Julia Sterman, Paul Tranter, Shirley Wyver, Anita Bundy

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Risky play is invigorating, challenging play with uncertain outcomes that optimizes children's development, health, and everyday well-being and creates opportunities to develop decision-making skills in low-consequence contexts, experience positive feelings such as confidence and courage, and enjoy health-promoting physical activity. Children with disabilities have fewer opportunities to engage in risky play, often because of the intervention of well-intentioned adults. In this paper, we define and examine the benefits of risky play for children with and without disabilities. Then, we examine the role of caregivers in “gatekeeping” risky play opportunities. We present two novel instruments that allow practitioners to assess caregivers' tolerance of risky play: the Tolerance of Risk in Play Scale-Revised (TRiPS-R) and the Tolerance of Risk in Play Scale-Teacher (T-TRiPS). We describe the results of psychometric analyses of these instruments, demonstrating evidence for construct validity and internal reliability of data collected using these instruments. Finally, we encourage practitioners who work with children with disabilities to employ these tools to promote risky play for the children they serve.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFamily-focused interventions
    EditorsSusan Hepburn
    Place of PublicationCambridge, MA
    PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
    Number of pages45
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128228753
    ISBN (Print)9780128228746
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Publication series

    NameInternational Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities
    ISSN (Print)2211-6095


    • children
    • disability
    • parents
    • play
    • risk
    • risk tolerance
    • risky play


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