The Ethics of Research with Children and Young People: A Practical Handbook

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SAGE Publications Ltd, Jan 18, 2011 - Education - 176 pages
Ethical questions are at the centre of research with children and young people. This clear and practical text informs students and researchers about the relevant laws and guidelines and current debates in research ethics. Priscilla Alderson and Virginia Morrow cover ethics at every stage of research, and with all kinds of young research participants, particularly those who are vulnerable or neglected. They break down the process of research into ten stages, each with its own set of related questions and problems, and they show how these need to be addressed.

This practical book is essential reading for anyone who conducts or reviews research with children or young people.

Priscilla Alderson is Emerita Professor of Childhood Studies at the Institute of Education University of London.

Virginia Morrow is Senior Research Officer in the Department of International Development, University of Oxford.


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Part 1 The planning stages
purpose and methods
2 Assessing harms and benefits
privacy and confidentiality
selection and participation
contracts funding projects and paying participants
ethics guidance and committees
7 Information
8 Consent
Part 3 The writing reporting and followup stages
9 Disseminating and implementing the findings
10 The impact on children
11 Conclusion

Part 2 The data collecting stage

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About the author (2011)

Priscilla Alderson is Professor Emerita of Childhood Studies, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. She teaches on the Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights international MA course, and has been doing research with children since 1977. Her main research interests include: methods and ethics of social research with children; sociology of childhood and children's and babies’ rights; long term illness and disability; children’s competence and consent and how growing economic and ecological crises affect them. Details of other work and publications are on

Virginia Morrow is Reader in Childhood Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London, where she is Programme Leader of the MA Sociology of Childhood and Children’s Rights. Children and young people have been the focus of her research activities since 1988. Her main research interests are methods and ethics of social research with children; sociology of childhood and children's rights; social capital in relation to children and young people; child labour and children’s work; children’s understandings of family and other social environments. She is an editor of Childhood: a global journal of child research. She is also the author of numerous papers and reports. She has been working with the Young Lives team at Oxford since 2007, advising on ethics and methods of research with children.

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