Revija za socijalnu politiku, Svezak 23, Br. 3 (2016)

Veličine fonta:  Mali  Srednji  Veliki

Fulfillment of the Child’s Participation Rights in the Family and the Child's Psychosocial Adjustment: Children’s and Parents’ Views

Ninoslava Pećnik, Jelena Matić, Ana Tokić Milaković


European families have been undergoing changes in power relations among the family members, including democratization of relations between parents and children. These processes were facilitated by the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), ratified in Croatia in 1991. This study examines perceived fulfillment of the provision, protection and participation rights of the child within contemporary Croatian families. In addition, it explores the links between participation rights fulfillment and children’s perception of a democratic climate in their families, as well as some indicators of children’s psychosocial adjustment. In 2010, a representative sample of 1074 seventh grade students (thirteen-year-olds) and their parents (983 mothers and 845 fathers) provided the data on measures of the child’s rights fulfillment in the family, family governing style, self-esteem, self-control, problem behaviour and resistance efficacy. Participants predominantly report respect of all of the examined rights. However, the provision rights and the protection rights are generally realized more often than the participation rights. Approximately a half of the children reported full respect of their right to freely express their opinions and ideas, and the right to influence decision making that affects them. In 9-12% of families children never or rarely experience fulfillment of their participation rights. Assessments of the ‘governing style’ in their families reveal that over a quarter of children see their families as dictatorships, anarchies, or post-revolutionary states. Higher participation rights fulfillment was linked with perceiving own family as a democracy, the child’s report of higher self-esteem and fewer behavior problems, more frequently resisting peer pressure to use substances (cigarettes, alcohol), as well as with the parent’s report of greater child’s self-control. Parents, in comparison to their children, tend to overestimate the level of fulfillment of children’s rights to protection of physical integrity, dignity, participation in decision-making and to receiving loving care.

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Revija za socijalnu politiku (Online). ISSN: 1845-6014