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Ethical Research Involving Children

Researching children: Methods and ethics.

Mahon, A., Glendinning, C., Clarke, K., & Craig, G. (1996). Researching children: Methods and ethics. Children & Society, 10(2). pp. 145-154.

Abstract: The appropriateness and desirability of researching children have been issues of some debate. Children may be perceived as non-competent or vulnerable, and proxies have been used as children’s representatives. Increasingly researchers are speaking to children directly. Why is this so and what are the methodological and ethical implications of researching children’s views? In this paper the authors draw on their own experiences of researching children in the fields of child carers and the impact of the Child Support Act 1991. A number of social, political and legal trends are identified which form a background to the growing interest in children as potential and actual participants in the research process. The theoretical, methodological, ethical and practical issues involved are then identified and described, using examples from two separate studies conducted by the authors. (Abstract published by arrangement with Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.).

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