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Orig. title: A participação ética de crianças com menos de 8 anos em investigação qualitativa

Engl. transl.: The participation of young children (under 8) in qualitative research


Children ethics qualitative methods

Publication details

Year: 2017
DOI: 10.29276/redapeci.2017.17.26516.16-29
Issued: 2017
Language: Portuguese
Volume: 17
Issue: 2
Start Page: 16
End Page: 29
Authors: Brito R.; Dias P.
Type: Journal article
Journal: Revista EDaPECI
Publisher: Revista EDAPECI
Topics: Researching children online: methodology and ethics
Sample: Observations that result from the fase of the attached project (interviews with children, participant observation and netnography)
Implications For Stakeholders About: Researchers


In the last decades, the role of children in qualitative research has changed, from unknown and incapable subjects, to attentive subjects and active participants. But for your participation to be appropriate and ethical, it is convenient to adopt some methods. Thus, it is intended with this article to make a critical review regarding the participation of children, up to 8 years, in qualitative investigations. Some techniques of data collection used by the authors will be presented in qualitative investigations, with the intention that the children be participative and active subjects. It is also intended to contribute to the methodological discussion and ethical issues in qualitative research with children.


A good (and confidential) relationship between the child and the researcher is critical to the success of data collection. The following contribute to this: - The place of the interview; - The informed consent of children and the guardians; - The icebreaker moment; - Short and direct questions (easy to understand) in an informal environment; - Check if the child has actually understood the question; - The presence of parents or other adults may be important in some situations; - Respect the clhid and his/her family since the beggining (choosing participants); - Asking the children to sign the consent autorization is a good way to arouse their interest and commitment; - In this project the authors registered that in future research the script would have to be shorter and less redundant, especially for children; - When children are bored, the best is not to insist and, instead, look to the way they are acting to draw conclusions; - Although some parents have shown interest in knowing their kids' answers, that was not possible. They shall only see the final publications in which the answers are anonymized; - During the drafting of the reports, the names of the participants were never mentioned, these have been encoded in order to guarantee their confidentiality and anonymity; "The guidelines and suggestions that we present in this article are based on the premise that children are social actors who have the right to participate in research on issues that concern them. It is important to note that not only did we seek to involve children in investigations because they have a right to be involved, but also to improve quality of the research itself. According to our experience, reports of children and parents are complementary, but different, and children are able to add very important insights regarding their practices, perceptions and experiences" (Brito, R. & Dias, P., 2017: 25-26). Quote and results translated by the coder.

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