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The Ethics of Research with Children and Young People
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The Ethics of Research with Children and Young People
A Practical Handbook



January 2011 | 176 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Ethical issues are a crucial consideration when researchers are working with children and young people. This clear and practical text informs students and researchers about all the relevant laws and guidelines that apply when they are conducting research with children and young people.

The Ethics of Research with Children and Young People cover ethics at every stage of research, and with all kinds of research participants, particularly focusing on those who are vulnerable or neglected. The authors break down the process of researching with children and young people into ten stages, each with its own set of related questions and problems, to help the reader understand the ethical issues which they need to address at each stage of their research.

This is an accessible, practical and passionate book and will be essential reading for anyone looking to conduct research with children or young people.

 
Introduction
 
Defining Some Terms
 
Research Ethics
 
The Purpose of This Book: Starting from Uncertainty and the Question Format
 
Researchers as Insiders or Outsiders
 
The Contents of This Book
 
PART ONE: THE PLANNING STAGES
 
Planning the Research: Purpose and Methods
Two Basic Questions

 
Questions about Purpose and Methods

 
Is the Research Worth Doing?

 
Do Theories Matter?

 
Do Viewpoints Matter?

 
Do Methods Matter?

 
Three Phases in Growing Awareness of Research Ethics

 
Three Ethics Frameworks for Assessing Research

 
Uncertainty - The Basis of Ethical Research

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
Assessing Harms and Benefits
Harms

 
Benefits

 
Risk, Cost, Harm and Benefit Assessments

 
Confusion in Risk-Benefit Assessments

 
Risk of Distress or Humiliation

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
Respect for Rights: Privacy and Confidentiality
Legal Rights to Confidentiality

 
Opt-in or Opt-out Access

 
Practical Respect

 
Privacy Rights

 
Data Protection Act 1998

 
Confidentiality or Acknowledgement?

 
Intimacy between Strangers: Research Interviews

 
Ethics and the Internet

 
Respecting Local Values

 
Privacy and Encouraging Freely Given Responses in Face-to-Face Contact

 
Does Traditional Ethics Cover Modern Research Experiences and Relationships?

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
Designing Research: Selection and Participation
Framing the Topics and Extent of the Research

 
Combining Respect, Inclusion and Protection

 
Does Traditional Ethics Cover Social Exclusion?

 
Images and Symbols

 
Beyond Inclusion to Participation: Children and Young People as Researchers

 
UN-Related Work With Young People

 
Respecting Young Researchers' Own Qualities

 
Summary Of Questions

 
 
Money Matters: Contracts, Funding Research and Paying Participants
Planning, Budgeting and Research Agendas

 
Ethics and Funding Sources

 
Carbon Costs

 
Ethics and Contracts

 
Freedom to Publish

 
Paying Young Researchers and Participants

 
Payments in Context

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
Reviewing Aims and Methods: Ethics Guidance and Committees
Review and Revision of Research Aims and Methods

 
Does Social Research Need Research Ethics Committees?

 
Recent Experiences with Research Ethics Committees

 
International Standards

 
A National Social Research Ethics Forum?

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
PART TWO: THE DATA COLLECTING STAGE
 
Information
Spoken and Written Information

 
Research Information Leaflets

 
Leaflet Layout

 
Examples of Research Information Leaflets

 
Leaflets in Other Languages

 
Information in Semi-Literate Societies

 
Relevant Research?

 
Two-Way Information Exchanged Throughout the Research Study

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
Consent
Consent and Rights

 
The Meaning of Consent

 
Consent to Open-Ended Research

 
Assent

 
Consent and the Law

 
Consent by and for Children and Young People

 
Double Standards

 
Complications in Parental Consent

 
Defining and Assessing Competence to Consent

 
Levels of Involvement in Decision Making

 
Respecting Consent and Refusal

 
Consent to Longitudinal Research

 
Consent and Secondary Data Analysis

 
International Standards of Consent

 
Research and International Contexts

 
Why Respect Children's Consent?

 
General Questions about Children's Consent

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
PART THREE: THE WRITING, REPORTING AND FOLLOW-UP STAGES
 
Disseminating and Implementing the Findings
Involving Children in Data Analysis

 
Dissemination: Getting to the Heart of Debate and Change

 
Dissemination and Implementation: Children, Young People and Adults Working Together for Change

 
Problems with Dissemination

 
Creative Ways Round the Problems

 
Dissemination and the News Media

 
Critical Readers and Viewers

 
Underlying Attitudes to Children and The 3 Ps

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
The Impact on Children
What Collective Impact Can Research Have on Children and Young People?

 
Reviewing the Impact of Research on Children

 
Positive Images

 
Summary of Questions

 
 
Conclusion
Ways Forward for Individuals and Teams

 
Questions that Cannot be Solved by Individuals Alone

 
The Need for Social Research Ethics Authorities

 
Summary of National Policy

 
Is the Research Worth Doing?

 
And Finally

 
 
References And Index

Good consideration of the complex area of research with children.

Mrs Sam Lloyd-Parry
School of Health & Social Care, Coleg Sir Gar
December 5, 2012

This book is a very practical book for students to use in their work based learning modules. There is a good mix of theory behind the concepts while having a clear logical process to follow.
I will be recommending this text to students in all years of the foundation degree in Early years.

Mrs Diane Forsyth
Early Years, Peterborough Regional College
September 17, 2010

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Priscilla Alderson

Priscilla Alderson is Professor Emerita of Childhood Studies, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. She teaches on the Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights international MA course, and has been doing research with children since 1977. Her main research interests include: methods and ethics of social research with children; sociology of childhood and children's and babies’ rights; long term illness and disability; children’s competence and consent and how growing economic and ecological crises affect them. Details of other work and publications are on www.ioe.ac.uk/ssru/.   More About Author

Virginia Morrow

Virginia Morrow is Reader in Childhood Studies at the ... More About Author

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