Children's perspectives of risk and protection

Yael Ponizovsky-Bergelson, Dorit Roer-Strier, Yael Dayan, Nira Wahle

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


Protection of children from risk is a major concern of scholars and practitioners in many countries. However, young children's perspectives on these issues are rarely acknowledged. This chapter addresses Israeli children's perspectives on what places children at risk and what makes them feel protected. The chapter adopts a context-informed perspective that acknowledges hybridity and complexity, while trying to avoid the assumption that cultures are uniform, monolithic, and static. The chapter provides examples from the findings of a qualitative study conducted in Israel. The study included children from diverse populations who differed in their geographical place of living, their cultural background, their religious or secular style of living, and their immigration or local experiences. Children were asked to take photos and draw risk and protection and discuss their drawings and photos in small groups. The analysis is based on children's explanations regarding their choice of photos and drawings. Children's attitudes towards risk and protection indicate their deep understanding of risk factors and, above all, their sense of agency, that is, their ability to act and influence in order to prevent risk or to protect themselves from dangerous circumstances and to create situations of joy and pleasure that enhance their sense of protection. The analysis showed that both perspectives of risk and protection are shaped by the various contexts that form children's worlds.We therefore call for the inclusion of children, their agency, and sense of protection in the discourse of risk.We also highlight the importance of attention to the multiple contexts affecting children's perceptions of risk and protection.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationChildren's Social Worlds in Cultural Context
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030270339
StatePublished - 10 Sep 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Psychology


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