Ethical Research Involving Children

Promoting children’s informed assent in research participation.

Dockett, S., Perry, B., & Kearney, E. (2012). Promoting children’s informed assent in research participation. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(7), pp. 802-828.

Abstract: Informed agreement to participate in research is a critical element of ethical practice. When researching with children, opportunities to provide informed agreement are often afforded to adult gatekeepers, yet not necessarily extended to the children involved. This paper reports an approach to engaging with children in research, emphasising strategies to facilitate their informed, and ongoing, assent. As part of a research project seeking children’s perspectives of their local community, researchers developed assent and information forms for children and young people. The aim of these forms was to promote discussion of children’s research rights, including the right to choose whether or not they engaged in the research. Within the broader research project, 130 children aged 4-12 years provided feedback about the forms and discussed how the forms influenced their participation in the research project.
(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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