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Ethical Research Involving Children

Relational ethics, informed consent, and informed assent in participatory research with children with complex communication needs.

Van Goidsenhoven, L., & De Schauwer, E. (2022). Relational ethics, informed consent, and informed assent in participatory research with children with complex communication needs. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 64(11), pp.1323-1329.

Abstract: There is a need for qualitative participatory research involving children with intellectual disability and complex communication needs (CCNs), but procedural ethics cannot always adequately respond to the associated realities. To tackle this challenge, procedural ethics can be expanded with relational ethics to engage with consent and assent practices in participatory research projects. By drawing on several key incidents of participatory research with children with CCNs, we explore the complex moral spaces and times of ambivalent and iterative (dis)engagements within research processes. We reconceptualize the consent/assent terrain as a relationally constituted process, more aligned with the overall epistemological frameworks of participatory research and ensuring (disabled) children’s ongoing and meaningful involvement in research. (Abstract published by arrangement with Wiley Subscription Services, Inc.).

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