IF we were conducting a lifespan study through a clinic or other covered entity we should take this rule into consideration and inform the participants about their rights under the rule.
According to the American Psychological Association (2002), there are also ethical considerations that must be followed. One of the first issues to be concerned with is the "do no harm" aspect of the work. Psychologists "seek to safeguard the welfare and rights" (APA, 2002, Principle A, p. 1) of their clients. The psychologist must also make sure that they are practicing within the boundaries of their competency areas (Standard 2, p. 2) and if working with participants who are a different ethnicity or gender, they must have the proper training in these areas. Legally, they must report any infromation to law enforcement where they find a participant to be harmful to themselves or others. They must also make sure that they have the proper licensing and that this licensing is up to date.
Researchers should also have in writing the "informed consent" form which states all of the aspects of the study including the nature of the study, that it entails naturalistic observation, that there may be some deception within it and that the information received will be recorded and shared. All participants must sign this agreement to make sure that they understand what is happening.
It would be difficult to totally eliminate bias in the researcher, but I would make sure that I had training in the areas necessary to work with the participants. I would make an attempt to use gender neutral wording in the instructions and in conducting the researcher. I would use research methods that had been used with minorities as well as women to the best of my ability.
I think that the two most important aspects of ethical considerations are to do no harm and the HIPAA information. The reason these are important is because they are stated to protect the clients. To do no harm is the motto