To some, the suggestion that an orderly and analytical process of decision making, not only on a personal level – but more so in the field of research, should include the discussion of highly controversial ethical issues, about which honest differences of opinion are common and self-deceiving rationalization endless, is repugnant. The subject is more pronounced as research delved more into issues concerning children. In this regard, the objective of this essay is to determine the rationale for the importance of ethics in research with children and young people. It initially would determine the relevant ethical issues in research involving children. Likewise, it would discuss the importance of ethics and status of children in research. Various literatures would be used as theoretical frameworks for the subject especially those of Cousins & Milner (2007), Priscilla Alderson, and the article written by Robinson & Kellett.
Ethical issues in research involving children range from concerns affecting children directly and the areas involved in undertaking the research. Those critical ethical issues that emerge affecting children are giving informed consent, competencies of children, environmental and social context, among others. Issues affecting the research process itself take into consideration the aims of the research, methodologies, sources of funds, to name a few.
Children are susceptible to being ethically affected by decisions made by adults due to their age, immaturity, competence to decide for themselves, and their willingness to participate in adult activities, especially on research projects involving them.
Ingredients for an appropriate ethical research included discussing both disrespectful and respectful methods of research. Making covert observations are considered under disrespectful methods. Respectful method seeks the consent of children and observes and talks with them in their natural