chapter  15
Ethical practice in research about children
ByLindsay O’Dell and Charlotte Brownlow
Pages 16

In this chapter we outline ethical issues that arise from research about children. We take the view that ethics involves a ‘set of moral principles and rules of conduct’ (Morrow & Richards, 1996, pp. 90-1), in which researchers draw on moral judgements to ensure their work respects others and treats people fairly. We explore the challenges involved in producing ethically robust research about, with and for children through considering key issues in the ethical production of research with children outlined in international ethical guidelines, in particular interrogating key issues of informed consent and protection from harm. However, we also critically examine these concepts as they link to ideas about children and the social construction of childhood. It is clear that researchers’ theoretical standpoint in psychology as well as their understanding of the abilities of children and the con - struction of childhood impacts on their choice of research design, their approach to researching children, and therefore to the ethical choices and the decisions they make. Finally, we consider current and future directions in the approach to research with rather than on children and the establishment of children as coresearchers and co-producers of research knowledge.