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Advice on using research among children
Firstly, there is no recommended minimum age for research among children but it is
expected that researchers will involve very young children directly in research only
when this is necessary and appropriate to the particular project. The intention of the
provisions regarding age is to protect potentially vulnerable members of society.
AIMS before conducting your research should include:
1. To protect the rights of children (physically, mentally, ethically and emotionally).
2. To reassure the parent or responsible adult concerned that your research is designed to
protect the child's welfare or safety.
3. To produce high quality research.
4. To promote the value of research.
5. To protect yourself and the child.
Definition of a child: someone below the age of 16
Definition of a young person: someone aged between 16 and 17
Research in schools:
Where research is being conducted in schools with the consent of the responsible adult, researchers
should suggest to the school that consent is also sought from parents or guardians for in
school interviews. Where consent is sought for some interviews in a school, it should normally be
sought for all interviews, including those with young people.
CONSENT (when using research among children) means: The permission given
by the responsible adult to the interviewer which allows the interviewer to
approach the child or young person.
Jessica Thair (G)
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HOWEVER, interviews being conducted in public places such as instreet/instore/central
locations, with 14 year olds or over, may take place without consent of a parent or responsible
adult. In these situations you must give an explanatory thank you note to the child.
Obtaining consent and providing the necessary information:
Where the consent of a parent or responsible adult is required you must ensure that the adult
is given sufficient information about the nature of the research to enable them to provide
informed consent.…read more
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e.g. if it
could introduce bias this should be explained
and consent sought to interview the child
Type of task appropriate for age It is imperative to avoid certain subjects when
interviewing younger children (e.g. a topic that
may frighten the child), though the same
subject might quite safely be covered with an
older child/young person. Also, the child or
young person must never be asked to test a
product which is illegal for the age group.…read more