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Ethical Research Involving Children

Participation as a methodological and ethical issue in child protection research.

Kiili, J., & Moilanen, J. (2019). Participation as a methodological and ethical issue in child protection research. Journal of Children’s Services, 14(3), pp. 143-161.

Abstract:
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore how children have been involved in research activities in recent international child protection research and what kinds of ethical and methodological decisions are made by researchers regarding children’s participation.

Design/methodology/approach: In the paper, the complexity of children’s participation in research activities is analysed through an integrative literature review.

Findings: Children’s right to self-determination and the right to make informed decisions were the most challenging ethical principles to implement in practice. The study shows that researchers usually decide on the research design, and child welfare professionals and parents assess the eligibility of the children as research subjects.

Originality/value: More ethical reflection and critical discussion on the rights that adults, both parents and professionals, have in deciding the involvement of children in research activities is required.

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