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Ethical Research Involving Children

Including and involving young people (under 18’s) in hate research without the consent of parents.

Pickles, J. (2020). Including and involving young people (under 18’s) in hate research without the consent of parents. Qualitative Research, 20(1), pp. 22-38.

Abstract: This article provides a reflection on the ethical challenges faced when seeking ethical approval to include young people in a research project examining LGBT+ ‘hate’ experiences. I outline the ethical parameters constructed when attempting to recruit under 18’s into the project and justify the rationale for doing so. I detail how ethical approval was gained and reflect on the safeguards put in place to protect young participants. The methodological position adopted took a youth affirmative outlook, premised on enabling and championing the autonomy and agency of young people. Traditional ethical guidelines maintain that parental consent is required to include young people within sensitive research. Seeking parental consent placed young participants in a position of greater risk than what would occur during participation. Parental consent was not sought for young people to participate, nor were they informed about the involvement of their children in the project. This article provides justifications on rejecting the notion that parental consent is the only means for youth inclusion, and details how young people were empowered during participation. I argue that young people should not be instinctively excluded from sensitive research but should be actively enabled by minimising but not eradicating possible and potential risk. Abstract reproduced with permission. The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Qualitative Research, 20(1), Jan 2020 by SAGE Publications, Ltd., All rights reserved. © [2020 SAGE Publications, Ltd.].

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