South African mixed-race children's and mothers' judgments and reasoning about children's nurturance and self-determination rights

Martin D. Ruck*, Harriet Tenenbaum, Ingrid Willenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the understanding of children's rights in 63 (9-, 11-, and 13-year-olds) mixed-race South African children and their mothers. In individual semi-structured interviews participants responded to hypothetical vignettes in which children's nurturance and self-determination rights conflicted with parental authority in the home. Participants were required to decide whether they should support the story characters' rights and provide justifications for their responses. Findings indicated that both children and mothers were more likely to endorse children's nurturance than self-determination rights. In contrast to previous research, no significant differences were found between children and mothers in terms of support for either type of right. In terms of reasoning, both children's and mothers' responses revealed distinct patterns of thinking influenced by the type of right under consideration. The findings are discussed with reference to the available western and non-western literature on children's understanding of rights. Limitations, implications, and directions for future research are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-535
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Development
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Children's rights
  • Nurturance
  • Self-determination
  • Social reasoning

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'South African mixed-race children's and mothers' judgments and reasoning about children's nurturance and self-determination rights'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this