Ethical Considerations When Researching With Children

2260 words - 10 pages

This assignment will fundamentally be looking at th
e ethical issues that need to be
considered and taken into account when children and
young people are involved in
research as co-researchers. The essay will begin by
looking at what is meant by
'ethical considerations' and why ethics are crucial
in research. It will then look at how
children as participants and co-researchers in rese
arch has come to be about
looking at the 1989 UNCRC agreement and its 3P's of
participation and how this
relates to an existing framework of research ethics
. 3 ethical considerations that
need to be taken into account will be examined clos
ely. These 3 ethical
...view middle of the document...

(known as the 3 p's). Provision rights are the righ
ts of basic needs such as education
and healthcare that ensure children's health and de
velopment. Protection are the

TMA 01 EK313 Priscilla Pereira B4532152
rights that make sure children are kept safe and pr
otected from factors such as
harm, neglect, abuse and exploitation and Participa
tion rights encourage that
children are informed and given a voice to be heard
(Alderson, 2014, p.88). Bucknall
(2014) states that due to the UNCRC (1989), childre
n's rights and status within
society along with the anxieties about the power an
d control adults have over
children have created a shift towards listening to
the voices of children and
accepting the child as a competent participant wher
e his or her perspectives are
recognised and respected (p.71). This has been repr
esented significantly in research
where participation rights encourage children to ta
ke on the role of co-researcher,
consulting, listening and involving them throughout
the research process.
This assignment will now be looking in detail at 3
different ethical considerations
when researching with young people. The first we wi
ll look at is the ethic of obtaining
Informed consent is the process in which the risks,
benefits and
requirements of a research study are explained to p
eople who are involved in the
research process this should be presented to them
in writing, such as in the form of
a leaflet. (Alderson, 2014 p.95). Without this info
rmation participants are unable to
make an informed decision. Information obtained sho
uld be treated with
confidentiality. However, when working with childre
n and young people, obtaining
consent to participate in research is not a straigh
t forward process and at times has
its own ethical questions to consider and be aware
of such as:
Who should the
researcher approach when asking for consent to do t
he study?
Can children give
their own consent or is it ultimately an adults dec
ision? These decisions can be
affected by the dominant beliefs and views that the
researchers hold themselves of
children and young people. Professor Chris Jenks ex
plains that his belief is that
children are autonomous beings and do not need to b
e protected from issues of
consent (The Open University, 2014e). Jenks views c
hildren as 'social actors' with
independent status in the world in which they live
(Prout, 2002 cited in The Open
University, 2014a).
Doctor Richard Olsen points out that although child
ren may be considered
autonomous and free to give consent it is importan
t to recognise the developmental
stages of children such as their experience and phy
sical and social immaturity. (The
Open University, 2014e). In this instance the child

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