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J Adolesc. 2006 Apr;29(2):193-207. Epub 2005 Jun 29.

The relationship between maternal attitudes and young people's attitudes toward children's rights.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, Ont., Canada M5B 2K3.


Relations between maternal socio-political attitudes and parenting style and young people's and mothers' attitudes toward young people's nurturance and self-determination rights were examined. Both young people (n = 121) and mothers (n = 67) were more supportive of nurturance than self-determination rights, although young people were more supportive than their mothers of self-determination rights and mothers were more supportive than young people of nurturance rights. Maternal conservatism was unrelated to young people's support for rights and negatively related to mothers' support for both types of rights. Last, young people who perceived their mother to be either authoritarian or uninvolved showed stronger endorsement of self-determination rights than young people who perceived their mother to be authoritative. The implications of these findings for the development of young people's attitudes toward rights within the context of various family factors are discussed. In particular, it is suggested that a balance needs to be achieved between assertion of rights and a respect for the rights of others.

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