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Ethical Research Involving Children

Ethical issues in longitudinal child maltreatment research.

Kotch, J. (2000). Ethical issues in longitudinal child maltreatment research. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15(7). pp. 696-709.

Abstract: The ethical issues involved in the participation of children in longitudinal child maltreatment research are very complex. This article describes the approaches to human participants’ protection taken by the North Carolina Local Site of LongSCAN, the Longitudinal Studies Consortium on Child Abuse and Neglect, in its first 8 years. Issues such as participant selection, proxy consent, incomplete disclosure, and confidentiality are discussed in the contexts of three ethical principles: justice, autonomy, and beneficence. As North Carolina prepares to be the first LONGSCAN site to enter the field to collect child self-reports of maltreatment at age 12, its conclusion that maintaining the confidentiality of the data is ethically superior to reporting suspected maltreatment continues to guide the research. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 15/7, 07/2000 by SAGE Publications, Inc., All rights reserved. © Sage Publications inc.)

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