This special issue highlights the complexity, breadth, and range of topics pertaining to children's rights as a social issue. The contributions included in this issue provide current theory and empirical research addressing the ways in which children and youth conceptualize their need for rights in contexts such as the family, school, community, and greater society. Additionally, the contributions address the implications this research has for policy and practice centered on the rights of children and youth in varying social contexts. As such this issue will be of interest to all those who advocate for young people in a variety of setting, as well as those whose work pertains to bettering the lives children and youth more generally.
Martin D. Ruck (1994, University of Toronto) is an Associate Professor of Urban Education and Developmental Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His work examines the overall process of cognitive socialization - at the intersection of race, ethnicity and class - in terms of children's and adolescents' thinking about human rights, educational opportunity and social justice. Over the past several years he has been examining the influence of social contexts (e.g., family, school and greater society) on the development of children's and young peoples' understanding of nurturance and self-determination rights. Currently, he is investigating how children's perceptions of social exclusion and discrimination are influenced by their social experiences and interpretations of rights and justice. His research on the topic of children's understanding of rights has appeared in Child Development, Journal of Adolescence, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Journal of Early Adolescence, and Journal of Research on Adolescence. Stacey S. Horn (2000, University of Maryland) is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology and Graduate Coordinator for the M.Ed. in Youth Development at University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Horn is interested in the development of moral and social reasoning, peer groups and intergroup relations; and stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Dr. Horn is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the International Journal of Behavior and Development and the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Youth. Her research has been published in journals such as Developmental Psychology, the International Journal of Behavior and Development , Cognitive Development, and the Journal of Youth and Adolescence