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Ethical Research Involving Children

Interviewing, and listening to the voices of, very young children on body image and perceptions of self.

Birbeck, D., & Drummond, M. (2005). Interviewing, and listening to the voices of, very young children on body image and perceptions of self. Early Child Development and Care, 175(6). pp. 579-596.

Abstract: Children’s voices have not often found their way into research. Concerns about their powers of communication, cognitive abilities and the ethical difficulties inherent when working with children have restricted their participation. Objective, empirical evidence suggests that if one engages children in research appropriately they are able to make a significant contribution. However, methodologies that require researchers to adopt a role of passive observer potentially pose ethical dilemmas. When working with children ethical dilemmas can be minimised by taking on the role of a participant adult. The participant adult role for the researcher is entirely congruent with the cognitive and social needs of children to participate meaningfully in research. (Abstract © Taylor & Francis, reprinted by special permission from Taylor & Francis Group, a division of Informa UK, http://www.tandf.co.uk).

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