Children’s Perspectives on Nurturance and Self-Determination Rights: Implications for Development and Well-Being

  • Martin D. Ruck
  • Michele Peterson-Badali
  • Charles C. Helwig


Increased social and political awareness of children’s rights over the past three decades has led to the belief that young people are individuals worthy of fundamental human rights. Examining how children and adolescents themselves think about rights is important for a number of reasons, including developing appropriate policies and facilitating their legal and civic engagement. The current chapter provides a review of theory, research and literature on children’s thinking concerning their nurturance and self-determination rights. The chapter will begin by addressing how the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has provided an important framework for much of the current thinking about children’s nurturance and self-determination rights, including the importance of considering children’s own perspectives and views concerning their rights. We provide an overview of the major theoretical perspectives which have been used to examine children’s understanding of rights, followed by a review of the research, across a number of cultural contexts, that has investigated the development of children’s attitudes, reasoning and knowledge about nurturance and self-determination rights. Next we consider the literature on children’s perspectives on well-being and what young people’s conceptions of their rights may tell us about what they think about their own well-being. The chapter will conclude with a consideration of the implications of this literature and research on children’s rights for future research concerning young people’s well-being.


Young People Asylum Seeker South African Child Muslim Adolescent British Youth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin D. Ruck
    • 1
  • Michele Peterson-Badali
    • 2
  • Charles C. Helwig
    • 2
  1. 1.The Graduate Center, City University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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