What are parents’ and leaders’ perceptions of risk, in relation to the young peoples’ participation in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) expeditions?
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This research explores parents’ and leaders’ perceptions of risk involved in Duke of Edinburgh’s expeditions. Drawing on the idea of the risk-averse culture outlined by Furedi (2005), the research explores the broader influences on risk perception. Slovic (2000) and Davis-Berman and Berman (2002) provide grounding in risk perception theory, informing this project. Whilst focusing on the expedition element of Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, this study examines the parents’ and leaders’ perceptions of risk. By collating theories on risk perception developed by researchers like Sjöberg(2007) and broader literature regarding outdoor activities, societal factors and Government policy, an insight into the personal and social factors influencing the stakeholders’ perceptions of risk was established. The research involved the collection of quantitative and qualitative data within a two-phased design frame. Initially, twenty leaders and nineteen parents completed questionnaires providing a broad foundation of data. From this, five leaders and five parents took part in semi-structured interviews, enabling detailed, complex and specific data to be gathered. The findings suggested that the leaders’ and parents’ share some similar ideas and have relatively balanced risk perceptions. However, the basis of the stakeholders’ risk perceptions are different, with leaders focusing on broader social factors and emphasising the trust placed in young people and procedures, whilst parents take a more personal perspective, emphasising the trust placed in leaders. This links to elements of the literature, whilst counteracting the idea of the extremely risk averse society that protects individuals and spreads fear at the detriment of development (Kehily, 2009).
BA (Hons) Educational Studies
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