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Sensitive topics

Sensitive topics

The definition of a “sensitive” topic in social research is dependent on context, as well as social and cultural norms and values. Sensitive issues for children and young people might relate to sexuality, substance abuse, body image, child abuse/neglect, family violence, parental separation, death, mental health etc. The level of sensitivity around the topic may vary according to culture, age, gender or other factors. Furthermore, the context of the research – the location, methods, relationships, process – can also influence how children feel about being involved in research on different topics. Researchers need to assess and mitigate any threats or harms to the participants, and to themselves, when inquiring into potentially sensitive topics.

Related Terms:
Harm
Re-traumatisation
Safeguarding

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