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New study on impact of parents’ attitudes towards risk in play





Explore Play Wales

Parental attitudes toward risk in play have an impact on children’s physical activity. This is according to a new study published in the journal, Psychology of sport and exercise.

The study, Playing it safe: The relationship between parent attitudes to risk and injury, and children’s adventurous play and physical activity, was carried out by researchers from Deakin University, Australia and Coventry University in the UK. It explored the relationship between parent attitudes to risk and injury, and their primary school-aged child’s daily adventurous play and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA).

Drawing on survey responses from 645 parents and guardians in Australia, the study revealed:

  • 78% of parents had low tolerance of risk when presented with a series of play scenarios.
  • MVPA was lower in children whose parents were less risk and injury tolerant.
  • Children of parents with more positive attitudes to risk and injury had more adventurous play.

The results of the study echo the findings of the British Children’s Play Survey (BCPS). This study, conducted in 2020, also highlighted the relationship between parents’ tolerance of risk and children’s engagement in risky play.

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