The notion that “children are not small adults” has deep roots in intellectual thought. Influential scientists (Jean Piaget, PhD), educators (Maria Montessori, MD), and philosophers (Jean-Jacques Rosseau) each described how children are not only shorter in stature than adults, but also fundamentally different in their thoughts, actions, and consciousness.
Pediatricians have long adopted “children are not small adults” as a motivating mantra. Child health researchers utter the same aphorism to justify scientific inquiries specific to children’s health conditions and concerns and to remind public and private stakeholders (including Congress) why it is essential to conduct research regarding children.1
Davis MM. Stunting the Growth of Child Health ResearchA Need to Reframe “Children Are Not Small Adults”. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(7):598-599. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.165