This briefing reports on the key findings from an ESRC funded study conducted in collaboration with ChildLine Scotland which utilised ChildLine’s unique caller information database to examine children’s concerns about the health and well-being of their parents’ and significant others’. Qualitative studies with older children and young people find that they offer few comments or observations regarding the health and illness experiences, behaviours or problems of their families and friends (Backett-Milburn et al, 2003). However, surveys of young people suggest that they demonstrate an adequate knowledge base about behaviours considered to be health damaging and how to maintain their own health. This study was designed to gain insight into how children actually talk about and make sense of issues as they affect the people who are close to them.
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