Ethical Issues in Researching Black Teenage Mothers with Harmful Childhood Histories: Marginal Voices
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Social Welfare 7 (1):54-73 (2013)
This paper highlights a number of ethical dilemmas encountered in a pilot study with a hard-to-reach group of research participants with harmful childhood histories. Drawing on a project exploring black teenage mothers' understandings of their own childhood experiences of abuse, it is argued that in asking young mothers to talk about such an emotionally sensitive topic as their own harmful childhood, a number of challenges are posed about how to deal with number of key ethical principles. The paper begins by outlining the context of the pilot study, including the research literature on this subject. It then discusses three key ethical principles that were considered during the process of the research: issues of gaining consent; and when the principle of confidentiality ought to be breached when a duty of care prerogative emerges. The paper explores these tensions in operationalising these principles when dealing with the competing needs and rights of gatekeepers, the young women and their carers, using occasional extracts from research findings to illustrate these tensions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ethical challenges in accessing marginal voices in social research
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References found in this work BETA
Virginia Held (2006). The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global. Oxford University Press.
Hugh McLaughlin & Steven Shardlow (2009). Different Cultures, Different Ethics? Research Governance and Social Care. Ethics and Social Welfare 3 (1):4-17.
Lizzie Ward & Beatrice Gahagan (2010). Crossing the Divide Between Theory and Practice: Research and an Ethic of Care. Ethics and Social Welfare 4 (2):210-216.
Daz Greenop (2010). Rightly Dividing the Word: Research Beyond the Limits of Ethical Approval. Ethics and Social Welfare 4 (3):306-310.
P. Christensen & A. James (2000). Research with Children: Perspectives and Practices. British Journal of Educational Studies 48 (3):344-345.
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