At the Edge: Negotiating Boundaries in Research with Children and Young People

Helen Kay, Viviene Cree, Kay Tisdall, Jennifer Wallace


A research study of children and young people affected by parental HIV in Scotland provides the vehicle for a discussion of some of the complex issues at the heart of qualitative research. The research team sought to conduct a study which would be inclusive and empowering for those children and young people and their parents who took part. But in carrying out research on such a secret and stigmatised subject, we found ourselves caught in the middle of competing requirements of confidentiality and openness, protection and autonomy, sponsorship and independence. We conclude that our study, by nature of its subject and subjectivities, illuminates dilemmas which cannot be resolved simply by constructing better protocols. They are central to the research process, and their partial resolution demands continuous negotiation between the researchers and the participants, and also the other stakeholders. In these complex circumstances the process of individual reflexivity can be usefully enhanced by a team approach.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0302332


children; young people; HIV; parental illness; reflexivity; subjectivities; research team

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Copyright (c) 2003 Helen Kay, Viviene Cree, Kay Tisdall, Jennifer Wallace

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