Flores, D., McKinney, R., Arscott, J., & Barroso, J. (2017). Obtaining waivers of parental consent: A strategy endorsed by gay, bisexual, and queer adolescent males for health prevention research. Nursing Outlook, Published on-line ahead of print.
Requiring parental consent in studies with sexual minority youth (SMY) can sometimes be problematic as participants may have yet to disclose their sexual orientation, may not feel comfortable asking parents’ permission, and may promote a self-selection bias.
We discuss rationale for waiving parental consent, strategies to secure waivers from review boards, and present participants’ feedback on research without parents’ permission.
We share our institutional review board proposal in which we made a case that excluding SMY from research violates ethical research principles, does not recognize their autonomy, and limits collection of sexuality data.
Standard consent policies may inadvertently exclude youth who are at high risk for negative health outcomes or may potentially put them at risk because of forced disclosure of sexual orientation. Securing a waiver addresses these concerns and allows for rich data, which is critical for providers to have a deeper understanding of their unique sexual health needs.
To properly safeguard and encourage research informed by SMY, parental consent waivers may be necessary.
This article was published in Nursing Outlook, © Copyright Elsevier (2017).Publisher’s Link