Negotiating the legal, ethical and practical challenges of researching sexual health education and service use among care-experienced young people

Nixon, C. and Henderson, M. (2020) Negotiating the legal, ethical and practical challenges of researching sexual health education and service use among care-experienced young people. In: SAGE Research Methods Cases: Medicine and Health. SAGE. ISBN 9781529726619 (doi:10.4135/9781529726619)

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Abstract

Conducting research with care-experienced young people (i.e., young people who had previously been looked-after in foster care, residential care, or at home with their parents/a relative/a family friend under the supervision of social work services) can present a range of ethical, legal, and practical challenges that need to be successfully negotiated to successfully collect data. In this case study, we review some of the challenges we encountered when designing and conducting a study focused on understanding the sexual health education and service use of care-experienced young people. Our case study begins with an overview of our study, including why we decided to use qualitative in-depth interviews to address our research question. We then explore how our sample selection was influenced by legislation relating to sexual offenses and child protection. In doing so, we describe the procedures we developed for handling child protection concerns and participant distress. We then reflect upon our experiences of recruiting through gatekeepers, including how recruitment was affected by having a named individual within the organization to champion our research and data protection legislation. We then discuss how we navigated conflicting views about the need to obtain parental consent for the participation of under 16s in research, before discussing how we assessed the capacity of young people to provide informed consent and addressed the potential for literacy difficulties among our sample. Our case study concludes with a discussion of the procedures we put in place to ensure both the physical and emotional safety of researchers.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Henderson, Prof Marion and Nixon, Miss Catherine
Authors: Nixon, C., and Henderson, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Publisher:SAGE
ISBN:9781529726619

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU11
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
Chief Scientist Office (CSO)SPHSU12