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Children’s risky play is associated with a variety of positive developmental, physical and mental health outcomes, including greater physical activity, self-confidence and risk-management skills. Children’s opportunities for risky play have eroded over time, limited by parents’ fears and beliefs about risk, particularly among mothers. We developed a digital tool and in-person Risk-reframing (RR) workshop to reframe parents’ perceptions of risk and change parenting behaviours. The purpose of this paper is to describe our RR intervention, rationale and protocol for a randomised controlled trial to examine whether it leads to increases in mothers’ tolerance of risk in play and goal attainment relating to promoting their child’s opportunities for risky play.
We use a randomised controlled trial design and will recruit a total of 501 mothers of children aged 6–12 years. The RR digital tool is designed for a one-time visit and includes three chapters of self-reflection and experiential learning tasks. The RR in-person tool is a 2-h facilitated workshop in which participants are guided through discussion of the same tasks contained within the digital tool. The control condition consists of reading the Position Statement on Active Outdoor Play.
Primary outcome is increased tolerance of risk in play, as measured by the Tolerance of Risk in Play Scale. Secondary outcome is self-reported attainment of a behaviour-change goal that participants set for themselves.
We will test the hypothesis that there will be differences between the experimental and control conditions with respect to tolerance of risk in play using mixed-effects models. We will test the hypothesis that there will be differences between the experimental and control conditions with respect to goal attainment using logistic regression.
The results of this trial will have important implications for facilitating the widespread change in parents’ risk perception that is necessary for promoting broad societal understanding of the importance of children’s risky play. In addition, the findings may provide relevant information for the design of behaviour-change tools to increase parental tolerance of risk.
ClinicalTrials.gov, ID: NCT03374683. Retrospectively registered on 15 December 2017.