Risky Play: Exploring Perspectives of Parents in Ontario
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The aim of this study was to contribute to the understanding of parental attitudes regarding risky play, and to understand how parents negotiate between safety and risk in their child’s play. This project used mixed methods by framing qualitative data from five semi-structured interviews, within individual risk-tolerances assessed by the Tolerance of Risk in Play Scale. Interviews revealed parents’ definitions of risk aligned with current literature, with the exception of their three- to five-year old engaging in play where they could get lost/disappear. Participants with lower TRiPS scores displayed more discomfort with risk than others, however, were still able to incorporate risk into their child’s play. These results challenge current assumptions that risk-tolerance is the most important target variable for parents to allow their child to engage in risky play. This study lays a foundation for future studies to examine parental risk-assessment, and the need for perspectives from diverse populations.