the development of a measure of children`s

Lesley Emerson
Katrina Lloyd
Elizabeth Welty
Centre for Children’s Rights
Queen’s University Belfast
Core concepts in human rights discourse: human dignity,
empowerment and rights-based demands for change
Children’s rights based research should:
 seek to further the realisation of children’s rights
 be guided by international standards
 contribute to the development of the capacities of the adults
as duty-bearers to meet their obligations and empower
children as rights-holders to claim their rights
(see Lundy and McEvoy(Emerson) 2009, 2011, 2012a, 2012b)
(Article 13, 17)
In formation
(Article 5)
‘seek and impart
information in medium
of choice’
‘adult guidance in the
exercise of the rights in
the Convention’
(In)formed view
(Article 12)
‘form and express
views which are given
due weight’
(Lundy and McEvoy (Emerson), 2012a)
Work with Children’s Research Advisory Groups (CRAGs) at all stages of
the research project
CRAGs are not research subjects rather they are invited to participate
on the basis of the expertise they can bring to the research
Remit of CRAGs:
 advise on the research process including how best to engage with other
children on the issues
 assist with the analysis and interpretation of the findings from interviews
with other children
 provide insight on the main issues under investigation
 identify potential solutions which might address the problems
Central to work with the CRAGs is the requirement to build the
children’s capacity as co-researchers in understanding the issues being
researched in the project.
(Lundy and McEvoy(Emerson), 2009, 2011)
Children’s Research Advisory Group (CRAG): 6
children aged 10 years old
Capacity building: children’s understanding of
‘participation’ in school and community;
familiarisation with participation rights as
expressed in CRC; developing understanding of
a ‘measure’
Developing statements for the measure: What
would a child say about a school really respected
children’s participation rights?
Developing statements for the measure:
Design a community that respects children’s
participation rights
Statements from all children in the CRAG
collated and draft measure produced
Measure refined in consultation with CRAG
Measure piloted in large scale survey
These questions are about children’s rights. We want to
find out about what children think about their right to
have a say about things that affect them. The questions
were written by this group of children:
We want to find out what children think about their right
to have a say about things that affect them
My school listens to what I have to say about………
What we do in class
What I have to say about school rules
How to make our school better
In my school………
5 point likert
for each
I can give my opinions freely
The adults make it easy for me to give my views
The adults take my views seriously
The adults talk to me about how decisions are made
The adults make sure I can easily get the information I
need about what is going on in the school
Now we want to know if you think the adults
in your community take your views
seriously. When we say ‘community’ we
mean your neighbourhood or your area. It
includes things like the leisure centres or
activity centres you go to, libraries,
churches, shops, health centres and parks
In my community..............
The adults ask me for my views
The adults take my views seriously
I can easily find out about activities (like youth clubs, church clubs,
sports activities) for children my age
 I can easily find out about what’s going on for children in places like
libraries, museums, and parks
 I am asked for my views on how happy I am with the activities in my
 The adults make it easy for me to give my views on the activities
going on in my community
What do you think could be done (in your school or in your
community) to make sure that children’s views are taken seriously?
(open ended)
Analysis of open-ended responses
 85% of children who completed the survey
responded to open ended question
 Children clustered a reduced set of responses to
generate themes
 Themes used to code all responses
Interpretation of quantitative findings
 ‘Family fortune’ style quiz
Kids’ Life and Times
 Annual online school-based survey of
approximately 4,000 10/11 year old children in
Northern Ireland
 Questions include attitudes to school, bullying in
school, KIDSCREEN-10 Quality of Life Measure,
Family Affluence Scale
 3,773 respondents to 2013 KLT
Boys – 49%, Girls – 51%
Reliability (Cronbach’s alpha) – 0.89
Principal Components Analysis
 2 Factors
▪ CRQSchool (8 items)
▪ CRQCommunity (6 items)
Higher scores on the scales indicate more
positive feelings about their participation
Children generally positive about their participation rights.
More positive about their participation rights in school than
in community
Girls are more positive about their participation rights in
school than boys
Girls are more slightly more positive about their rights in
the community than boys.
Children who said they were mostly happy at their school
(81% respondents) had higher mean scores on the CRQ
scales than those who said they were mostly unhappy (4%
respondents) or who couldn’t decide (15% respondents
Children suggestions with regard to improve
their participation in school and community:
 Public mechanisms (e.g. school and community
 Private mechanisms
 Awareness raising for adults and children
 Strategies for ensure adults listen (‘make the
adults do it’)
Analyse CRQ data in relation to well-being
Analyse CRQ data in relation to ‘rightsrespecting schools’
Include the CRQ (participation) in forthcoming
survey of adolescents
Developing other domains:
 Article 29
 Safety etc
Lundy, L. and McEvoy, L. (2009) Developing outcomes for
education services: a children’s rights-based approach, Effective
Education 1(1) pp. 43-60
 McEvoy, L. and Lundy, L. (2007) E-consultation with pupils- a
rights-based approach to the integration of citizenship education
and ICT Technology, Pedagogy and Education 16 (3) pp.305-320
 Lundy, L., McEvoy, L. and Byrne B. (2011) Working with young
children as co-researchers: an approach informed by the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Early Education
and Development 22(5)
 Lundy, L. and McEvoy, L. (2012) ‘Childhood, the United Nations
Convention on the Rights of the Child and Research: What
Constitutes a ‘Rights-Based’ Approach?’ (Chapter in Freeman
(ed) Law and Childhood Oxford University Press)

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