Understanding parents’ fears in allowing their children to play and travel independently
The final research findings for this study have been released. Click here to view the most recent information.
Resource 1: Media Release (293KB)
Resource 2: Preliminary research findings summary (253KB)
Resource 3: Full preliminary research findings (607KB)
To investigate the role that parental fear plays in shaping children’s independence and physical activity, and find solutions to help parents give their children greater freedom, VicHealth has initiated and funded a three-year study (2012 to 2015) into parental fear, the first of its kind in Australia.
VicHealth has commissioned La Trobe University and the Parenting Research Centre to undertake the study which has included a survey of more than 2000 parents of children aged nine to 15 from across Victoria.
Beyond the bubble wrap: Understanding parents’ fears in allowing their children to play and travel independently, contains the preliminary findings of this research, which suggests that children’s independence was related to parental concerns about safety in general and harm from strangers in particular.
The final year of the research will involve working with experts including parents’ groups to identify initiatives to help parents overcome barriers to children walking and riding to and from school and within their neighbourhood. Final research findings are planned for release in 2015.