Consent carries both legal and ethical implications for research involving children. Beyond initial parental/guardian consent, children and young people should also have the opportunity to provide informed consent /assent. The ERIC approach views such consent / assent as an ongoing process. This is sometimes referred to as process consent or ongoing consent. It recognises that consent is provisional and open to renegotiation throughout the research process. It might involve, for example, researchers creating openings for choice and disagreement around participation, remaining alert to signals from children and young people about their willingness to continue involvement, and reaffirming children’s assent at the end of the research activity, including in relation to the sharing of information. Researchers should remain reflexively attuned to children’s verbal signals indicating their wish to withdraw (dissent), as well as body language and non-verbal clues.

Related Terms:
Informed consent,
Parental consent

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