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Ethical Research Involving Children

Recruiting diverse groups of young people to research: Agency and empowerment in the consent process.

Munford, R., & Sanders, J. (2004). Recruiting diverse groups of young people to research: Agency and empowerment in the consent process. Qualitative Social Work, 3(4). pp. 469-482

Abstract: Ethical matters in research with children and young people, such as recruitment procedures and gaining informed consent, have been a fruitful ground for exploring issues such as power and protection, researcher responsibility and social versus individual good, that feature in all human research. It has also raised for debate the extent to which children and young people are similar to, or different from, adults and whether they require special protection to manage their involvement. A four-step process for recruiting young people into a qualitative research project is outlined. Young people were recruited as fully consenting participants and, at the same time, adult requirements that parents be informed and agree to their children’s involvement was achieved. The process discussed enables the exercise of parental responsibility while not discounting the rights and needs of children for recognition of their agency and autonomy. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Qualitative Social Work, 3/4, 12/2004 by SAGE Publications, Ltd., All rights reserved. © Sage Publications Ltd.)

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