Ethical Research Involving Children

Ethical difficulties with consent in research involving children: Findings from key informant interviews.

Spriggs, M. (2010). Ethical difficulties with consent in research involving children: Findings from key informant interviews. AJOB Primary Research, 1(1), pp. 34-43.

Abstract: Consent to research involving children is complex and provides a difficult challenge for researchers and ethics review bodies. The concept of ‘consent,’ both of the parent and the child, is not as well defined as it could be and can lead to a problematic lack of clarity of the role and requirements for consent. Our aim is to address this problem. Presented here are findings from interviews with Australian researchers and members of Human Research Ethics Committees identifying what is problematic, what may be stopping or hindering research, and issues that warrant further investigation. Issues identified are not relevant only to the Australian context?they are common to research involving children generally. The focus is on ethical practice rather than on conforming to current regulations. This paper also provides evidence in the literature that researchers and reviewers outside of Australia are grappling with the same or similar ethical issues. Abstract © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission of Taylor & Francis Group (http://www.tandfonline.com).
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