Home > Guidance for developing ethical research projects involving children.

Ireland. Department of Children and Youth Affairs. (2012) Guidance for developing ethical research projects involving children. Dublin: Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

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The objective of this document is to provide ethical guidance for developing research projects involving children across a range of disciplines, from medicine to the social sciences. The impetus came firstly from a Department of Children and Youth Affairs’ commissioned report on ethical issues and children’s research, which identified a lack of standardisation in this area (Felzmann et al, 2010). Another incentive was to use the knowledge developed from ethical deliberations relating to the Growing Up in Ireland study. Part of this project has been the development of rigorous ethical procedures to both protect children and facilitate their participation in the research process.

Core ethical principles and concepts in child-related research
There are basic ethical principles that apply to all research. These include:
• a commitment to the well-being, protection and safety of participants;
• a duty to respect the rights and wishes of those involved;
• an obligation to address the issue of who ought to receive the benefits of research and bear its burdens;
• a responsibility to conduct high-quality scientific research;
• a commitment to communicate the results of research to relevant stakeholders and policy-makers.

Based on these principles, a number of core ethical concepts arise in research. These are:
1. minimising risk of harm;
2. informed consent and assent;
3. confidentiality and anonymity.

In relation to children’s research, a number of additional issues need to be addressed, namely:
1. child protection principles;
2. legal obligations and policy commitments in relation to children;
3. a child-centred, inclusive approach to research.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive
18 p.
Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Corporate Creators
Ireland. Department of Children and Youth Affairs
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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