Ethical issues in child research: Caution of ethical drift.
Enochsson, A.-B., & Löfdahl Hultman, A. (2019). Ethical issues in child research: Caution of ethical drift. In V. Margrain & A. Löfdahl Hultman (Eds.), Challenging Democracy in Early Childhood Education: Engagement in Changing Global Contexts (pp. 27-39). Singapore: Springer Singapore.
Abstract: The background for this study is the emphasis on ethical considerations in child research during the last decades. We have found ethics to be more and more acknowledged and regulations to be strengthened. Based on this, the aim of the study is to review the ethical issues in child research to find out how ethical considerations are dealt with in this respect. Four important journals, representing three important editors were selected. Through reading 707 abstracts from volumes 2016 and 2017, empirical studies focusing on children under the age of 8 were found in 95 articles and were further analysed regarding ethical issues. The result shows that regardless of requirements in journal guidelines, about one third of the articles lack any ethical reflection. Further, it is also shown that just over half of the articles merely stated compliance with regulations and standards and just a few of articles presented a deeper reflection on the ethical considerations including occurring dilemmas. The shift towards stronger ethical regulations is discussed as if it might encourage the tendency of just doing what is necessary according to laws, and when doing so, the risk of ethical drift is elaborated. (Abstract reproduced with permission © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2019).Publisher’s Link