Parents' perceptions of children's rights in the family setting in Auckland, New Zealand

Robson, Jazz
Hanna, Kirsten
Verbitsky, Jane
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Master of Arts in Policy Studies
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Auckland University of Technology

The purpose of this study is to explore parents' perceptions of young children's rights in the home setting. The research addressed parents' knowledge of children's rights, their perceptions of children's rights in the home setting, how they facilitate rights in the home and their perceptions of any clashes of "wills". The theoretical and conceptual frameworks of childhood studies, the social construction of childhood, human rights, children's rights, Bronfenbrenner's (1979) ecological model of human development and Baumrind's (1971) parenting styles were used to guide and inform the study. This study highlights how these theoretical and conceptual frameworks intersect to create diverse understandings of children, childhood and children's rights. A qualitative descriptive approach, with an interview guide in addition to semi-structured interviews was used. Interviews were conducted in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2015 with seven parent participants. Participants were selected using snowball sampling via the researcher's extended network. The participants represented parents with young children aged between 3 and 5 years. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data to identify the emerging themes in the data and to code categories. The study found that parents lack a formal knowledge of children's rights. Parents in this study tended to conflate rights-related concepts such as children's rights and parents' rights with privileges or responsibilities. However, the findings also show that even with a lack of children's rights knowledge, parents facilitate their young children's access to some rights to participation, protection and provision in the home setting. More specifically, parents facilitated and supported the idea of Article 12 in the home setting. Lastly, the findings also show that two types of clashes are perceived to exist in the home setting, a clash of wills between children and parents and between parents and external authorities. This thesis contributes to the literature on parents' perceptions of young children's rights with a particular focus on the home setting. The thesis highlights the need for more research on parents' perceptions of children's rights. Lastly, it highlights that education about children's rights is needed for parents to be able to fully facilitate young children's access to and experience of their rights in the family setting.

Children's rights , Parents rights , Human rights , Childhood
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