PI – Alice Ramos, sociologist, ICS-ULisboa, Co-PI – Ricardo Rodrigues, social psychologist, ISCTE-IUL
Research team: Ana Nunes de Almeida and Vasco Ramos, both sociologists from ICS-ULisboa and Isabel Correia and Sibilia Marques, both social psychologists from ISCTE-IUL
Aims of CLAVE
The literature review briefly accounts for how much we have learned from studying basic human values, and its antecedents and consequences, in adulthood. We have also discussed the potential of expanding our knowledge about the development of basic human values in childhood and adolescence. More specifically, we aimed to show that research on the development of values in younger populations, particularly adopting comprehensive values frameworks (e.g., Theory of Basic Human Values), is very recent, and focused on some key, but rather restricted, aspects, such as the organizational structure of values and the way children prioritize different values. In this context, we pointed out the existence of virtually no evidence on the outcomes of children and adolescents’ basic human values.
CLAVE proposes to address this limitation by mapping in Portugal and other European countries the basic human values of children and young adolescents (6-14 years) and studying their impact on children’s feelings of personal growth and well-being in the family and in the school contexts, and doing so while considering both perceived and objective indicators of social and academic inclusion. Alongside, CLAVE also aims to address the impact of values on representations of justice and attitudes towards different social groups (age, gender, nationality, etc.).
This should provide the field with a better understanding of the current and future dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in the European area. This is particularly relevant if we consider the increasing levels of diversity and mobility in a globalized Europe and the pressing challenges for integrating social and cultural diversity while assuring the younger generations are given an active role and a voice.
CLAVE proposes to take a transnational research approach to be able to determine the extent to which the formation and development of basic human values in childhood and adolescence is culturally informed, but also to identify the findings perimeter of generalizability and their value to inform both national and European public policies aimed at creating more inclusive societies. The European Social Survey (ESS) that started in 2002 provides an example of the research perspective that CLAVE aims to pursue where both fundamental and applied questions are addressed.
In our literature review we also highlighted that despite several studies having examined the role of socialization processes on the onset and development of children’s values, assessing in a systematized was the relative contribution of different reference groups and the consequences for children of being faced with conflicting influences has not been studied yet.
Hence, CLAVE proposes to study the relative influences of the family and peers/friends in the formation of children and adolescents’ basic human values, and to what extent are these influences conflicting and perceived by the child/adolescent as such. This will allow us to develop a more integrated understanding of the socialization processes involved in the formation and development of basic human values, but also the consequences of conflicting influences to children’s feelings of personal growth and well-being, and their degree of social and academic inclusion. In a similar vein, CLAVE will also advance our knowledge about family and peers/friends’ relative influence on children and adolescents’ representations of justice and their attitudes towards different social groups (age, gender, nationality, etc.), and the mediating role of values. This knowledge should inform the design of public policies and interventions aiming to promote positive social attitudes and the inclusion of social diversity in the school context. It can also inform about the potential efficacy of value-based intervention – that can be indirect and comprehensive – compared to existing interventions that are typically more direct and limited in their scope to one social domain (age, ethnicity, nationality, etc.).
Research Plan and Methods
The development of CLAVE is based on the execution of three studies:
- International study
- National longitudinal study
- Focus Group study
- International study
One of the aims of CLAVE is to analyze children values in a cross-national perspective. Due to the limited financial resources available, the methodology proposed to achieve this objective is to combine the fieldwork of the study with the fieldwork of the European Social Survey 9 (ESS-ERIC). This plan depends upon the approval of the Central Scientific Team of the ESS-ERIC (submitted and waiting for decision) and will proceed as follows: within the households with children in their composition that participate in the ESS 9, a child will be selected and interviewed after the informed consent of one of the parents (or legally responsible adult). The number of countries participating in this study is not defined yet, depending on the negotiations between CLAVE team and the ESS-ERIC National Coordinators. The method used will be a PAPI (Paper and Pencil Interview) face-to-face interview of 15-20 minutes, in the house of the child, and, depending on the age of the child, an appropriate set of vignettes describing values, attitudes and behaviors will be used based on the Picture-Based Value Survey for Children (, ). The PBVS-C assesses children’s values through self-report and thereby depicts Schwartz’s theory of universal human values at an early age. In terms of sample, it depends a lot on the number of children living in private households, but it is expected to collect around 150 interviews in each country. Prior to the administration of the questionnaire, a pilot will be run in each country to test the equivalence of indicators (translations may have a serious impact on conceptual and metric equivalence) and the adequacy of the questions to the different cultural contexts.
2) National Longitudinal study
The second study of CLAVE aims to collect data from up to 1000 children. To reach the children, public basic schools will be contacted (in the context of previous research, the Co-PI has contacts in the 18 Portuguese school groupings). For each child one parent will also be interviewed in order to measure the degree of convergence/divergence of values priorities between generations as well as the effect of family socialization. In the case of children, the method used will be similar to the one used in the international study. In the case of parents, an on-line survey will be prepared. This study will have two waves, being the pairs children/parent interviewed with a time span of one year. This will allow analyzing how cognitive development influences the values’ structure and the salience attributed to each value. In terms of sample the aim is to achieve a sample as much as possible diversified and unbiased in terms of age, gender, ethnicity/nationality and socio-economic background of the children and the parents.
The two first studies have a quantitative nature that is appropriate for cross-cultural and longitudinal analyses. However, a study like CLAVE would not be complete without a qualitative perspective. There are issues that need a more deepening analysis and that provide a huge improvement on the attribution of meaning to children’ opinions and beliefs. In order to enrich the data collected with the two quantitative studies, 5 Focus-group studies will be conducted: 3 with different age group children, one with parents and one with teachers. The introduction of teachers within this study, is also a way of understanding how the present curricula of the basic educational level approaches the issue of values and citizenship with children and young adolescents, and it is expected to raise questions and solutions directed to inform public policies on education at the national level.
- C) Data analysis methodologies
The diversity of data collection modes, of data nature, of disciplinary theoretical models and empirical approaches opens the range of data analysis methodologies and techniques that can be used. From descriptive analysis to model testing approaches, several techniques will be used, namely OLS-Regression models, Structural Equation Modeling, Multilevel Analysis, Multi-dimensional scaling, discourse analysis.
- D) Open-access and dissemination
The expected outcomes of CLAVE include the archive of the data sets produced in the APIS (Portuguese Archive of Social Information) in a way that researchers from different scientific areas may profit from the data collected. The access to data of the 3 studies and to its documentation will be made freely available following strict procedures of disclosure control  guaranteeing that no one (child, parent or teacher) can be directly or indirectly identified
The dissemination of activities and outcomes of CLAVE will be done through the website that will be created for the purpose, and Facebook and Tweeter accounts will also be created and fed regularly in order to reach different publics.