Rights to privacy in research: Adolescents versus parents

Ethics and Behavior 4 (2):109 – 121 (1994)
Conducting research on adolescents raises a number of ethical issues not often confronted in research on younger children. In part, these differences are due to the fact that although assent is usually not an issue, given cognitive and social competencies, the life situations and behavior of youth make it more difficult to balance rights and privacy of the adolescents. In this article, the three ethical principles of beneficence, justice, and respect for persons are discussed in terms of their application to the study of adolescents. Then, seven vignettes are presented to illustrate how these principles apply to real-life situations. How to balance the rights of adolescents and their parents is discussed, using adolescent girls and their parents for illustrative purposes.
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