Hearing children’s voices: Methodological issues in conducting focus groups with children aged 7-11 years.
Morgan, M., Gibbs, S., Maxwell, K., & Britten, N. (2002). Hearing children’s voices: Methodological issues in conducting focus groups with children aged 7-11 years. Qualitative Research, 2(1). pp. 5-20.
Abstract: Children are increasingly acknowledged to have rights in the determination of decisions that affect them. This has encouraged research to be undertaken with children themselves to understand their own views, experiences and relationships, and has demonstrated a considerable gulf from parental concerns and observations. Methods for research with children are, however, relatively under-developed. This article reflects on our experience of conducting focus groups with children aged 7-11 years to examine their experiences of living with asthma. It discusses the use of child-friendly techniques to promote participation and access children’s meanings, and raises issues about the size and composition of groups and recruitment strategies, group dynamics, tensions and sensitive moments. We conclude that focus groups are a valuable method for eliciting children’s views and experiences and complement personal interviews, while important questions relate to enhancing children’s participation in other stages of the research process. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Qualitative Research, 2/1, 04/2002 by SAGE Publications, Ltd., All rights reserved. © Sage Publications Ltd.)