Expanding the role of young people in research: towards a better understanding of their lives.
Nic Gabhainn, Saoirse
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Daniels, N., Burke, L., O’Donnell, A., McGovern, O., Kelly, C., D’Eath, M., Gabhainn, S. (2014). Expanding the role of young people in research: Towards a better understanding of their lives. Public Health and Governance, 2014, 36-44. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.4467/20842627OZ.14.004.2896
The participation of young people in the research process can be empowering for the participants and valuable for the research outcomes. This paper presents the methods used and outcomes of involving youth in the development of priorities for the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study in Ireland. Two participative workshops were conducted with young people: the first focused on identifiying what is important for people to understand about young people’s lives; the second served to expand and prioritise the themes identified, for the purpose of developing questionnaire items. Following idea generation, discussion and voting four themes emerged as priorities. These were; ‘Diversity and Individuality’, ‘Independence’, ‘Mental Health’ and ‘Bullying’. The process enabled young people to prioritise dimensions of their lives that deserved further quantitative research attention. The findings of the study identify the potential of such a methodology to transform the path of any research project concerning young people.