Young Children’s Perspectives of Risk and Protection

Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson*, Yael Dayan, Ibtisam Marey-Sarwan, Dorit Roer-Strier, Nira Wahle

*Corresponding author for this work

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

1 Scopus citations


This chapter is based on a qualitative study that utilized the conceptual frameworks of the sociology of childhood and the context-informed perspective with the aim of exploring perspectives on risk and protection of 260 children, ages 3–6, from 11 different communities in Israel. Data were collected via children’s drawings, photos, verbal explanations, and descriptions and were analyzed using a thematic analysis of the interviews. The findings suggest that children’s perceptions of risk and protection reflect a wide range of contexts such as the political context, the kindergarten context, leisure time, the house, neighborhoods, weather, health and disease prevention, and the religious and spiritual contexts. The study highlights the impact of a context-informed perspective in the debate about risk and child protection. It underscores the importance of giving voice to children, understanding their reality and acknowledging the contexts that affect their everyday lives. The findings offer several important lessons to be learned when one considers children’s perspectives on risk and protection: (1) Risk and protection are context-dependent; (2) Children express the ability to view intersectionality between contexts; (3) Risk and protection are not binary and dichotomous domains; (4) Children, as young as 3–6 years old, have much agency and are able to understand complexity regarding risk and protection.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationChild Maltreatment
Subtitle of host publicationContemporary Issues in Research and Policy
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages25
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameChild Maltreatment: Contemporary Issues in Research and Policy
ISSN (Print)2211-9701
ISSN (Electronic)2211-971X

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.


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