Decision-making by children and young people in the home: the nurture of trust, participation and independence.

Shirley Martin, Catherine Forde, Deirdre Horgan, Linda Mages

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9 Citations (Scopus)
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This article presents the findings of a qualitative research study of children and young people (aged 7-17 years) in Ireland. It seeks to investigate whether, for the children and young people involved, the home is a space where supportive, trusting family relationships can be nurtured; where independence grows with age; and where parents listen, discuss and explain decisions made. It furthermore outlines the views and experiences of parents with regard to children and young people’s participation in the home and will focus on relational and spatial aspects of child participation within the home. The results indicate that age and issues of trust and tokenism were significant barriers in young people’s participation and decision making at home. Key enablers of children and young people’s participation included spaces where discussion can happen at home, good family relationships, being listened to by parents, trust and growing levels of independence with age, seeing decisions as fair and having the rationale for decisions explained to them by parents. Among suggestions for improvements the most important were designated family spaces for discussion, encouragement of active listening by parents, and to promote explanation by adults of their decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-210
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number1
Early online date27 Sept 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


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