Participation in perspective: reflections from research projects
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Participation in perspective: reflections from research projects

Tina Moules Director of research, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
Niamh O’Brien Researcher, Anglia Ruskin University Chelmsford, UK

Aim This paper seeks to add to the debate regarding children as researchers by exploring the reality of their participation in research.

Background As the role children and young people play in knowledge building is recognised, their position as social agents is evolving. This has led to a shift in the ways in which children and young people participate in research, and in particular in their roles as researchers alongside adults.

Data sources Two participatory research projects involving children and young people.

Review methods The paper critiques existing models of children's participation and is followed by an account of observations made during the research projects.

Discussion Existing models offered a variety of criteria against which to measure participation. However, none of the models allowed for the multidimensional nature of participation that emerged from the data to be fully described.

Conclusion A dual-axis model of participation is more useful than the other models described in the text for reflecting on participatory processes.

Implications for practice/research The model can be valuable in guide planning and implementing participatory research with children and also as a tool for evaluating the process.

Nurse Researcher. 19, 2, 17-22. doi: 10.7748/nr2012.01.19.2.17.c8904

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

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