Ethical Research Involving Children

The wrongs of protection: Balancing protection and participation in research with marginalised young people.

Daley, K. (2013). The wrongs of protection: Balancing protection and participation in research with marginalised young people. Journal of Sociology, 51(2) pp. 121-138.

Abstract: Protecting participants – especially the vulnerable and/or young – is essential to respecting individuals and doing so upholds the merit and integrity of research. Research is a way of improving the lives of the vulnerable as research informs policy and service provision. Research participants need to be protected, but as their right, they also need to be able to participate in research as a way of being heard on matters which affect them. This article argues that ethical review of research is so heavily focused on minimising risk that young people’s right to participate in discussion is often overlooked. I use my own research with young people who have experienced problematic substance use as a running case study to discuss the tension between balancing protection and participation in research design and offer strategies for balancing the two when designing research. (The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Journal of Sociology, 51/2, 06/2015 by SAGE Publications, Ltd., All rights reserved. © SAGE Publications, Ltd.).

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