9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN04 Sociology of Children and Childhood

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Child Work and Economic Activity Building II, C6.02

Young workers risk perception: exploring risks faced by young children at work


Child work in Britain is an issue given little attention and often treated as something from Britain?s historical past. However, recent research has demonstrated that most adolescents work while still attending school. Such a majority experience is worthy of attention, with a view to clarifying the possible costs and benefits to the young people working. One such cost is the accidents and injuries young workers sustain in their first experiences of work. Previous research has found that adolescent workers are more likely to experience accidents than adult workers. Adolescents? risk taking behaviour and perception of risk have been examined in other areas such as drug and alcohol use, sexual activity and driving behaviour. In this paper, the consideration of adolescent risk taking and risk perception is extended to their employment. The piloting of a new method of recording adolescents? perception of risk in relation to their part time jobs is discussed. A previously created risk perception card sort method for eliciting risk perception is examined in light of its transformation into a paper and pencil version. The results of applying this version are discussed with respect to issues such as gender, adolescent development and liability to accidents.