Aim To reflect on involving young people as co-researchers in a photography project in England.
Background The literature includes many different approaches to engaging with young people, seeking their views about health issues and involving them in research projects. Using young people as co-researchers brings with it ethical and methodological challenges.
Data sources A photography project with the author that elicited the views of young people aged 13 to 17 to explore their health beliefs.
Review methods A critical reflective account is included to highlight the important issues related to involving young people as co-researchers, especially those associated with data collation and analysis such as the balance of power between adults and young people in decision making, and the importance of training, support, ethical considerations, time and resources.
Discussion How young people can be involved in the iterative process of data collection and analysis to inform the study with their greater understanding of their peers’ perspectives.
Conclusion The young people involved in the study were enthusiastic and readily engaged in the photography workshops and process. If researchers are to help young people to participate in projects as co-researchers, they must give full consideration to their involvement in all stages of research.
Implications for practice/research Time and resources need to be built into the bid process and from the start of planning. There are challenges to involving young people as co-researchers that need to be overcome, such as resistance from academic institutions, health professionals, sponsors and/or other professional researchers.