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Phelan, S. K., & Kinsella, E. A. (2013). Picture This . . . Safety, Dignity, and Voice—Ethical Research With Children: Practical Considerations for the Reflexive Researcher. Qualitative Inquiry, 19(2), 81–90. https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800412462987


While engaged in a research project involving the use of visual methods with children, the authors discovered that there are many ethical considerations beyond what could have been predicted at the outset. Some of these considerations are important with respect to research with children in general, while others arise more particularly when using visual methods. Framed around the two broad categories of procedural ethics and ethics in practice, five areas of ethical concern are considered: (a) assent or willingness to participate, (b) informed consent and assent using visual methods, (c) issues of disclosure, (d) power imbalances, and (e) representations of the child. The authors propose that researcher reflexivity on ethically important moments lies at the heart of living ethical practice in qualitative research and that the ideals of enabling child safety, dignity, and voice serve as useful guides in the quest for ethical practices in research with children.