Involving young people

Different ways of involving young people in research

There are different ways of involving young people in research in a meaningful way. Treseder’s model of participation outlines the main types of participation:

Assigned but informed

Adult-initiated, shared decisions with young people

Child-initiated and directed

Child-initiated, shared decisions with adults

Consulted and informed

Adapted from: Empowering children & young people training manual: promoting involvement in decision making (Save the Children). Phil Treseder, 1997.

Research projects that involve young people as research subjects, but where the young people have no influence over the research, can be very valuable. But this is not what we mean by ‘young researchers' projects’. Nor would we include projects that only involve young people in a tokenistic way. Indeed, this could raise ethical questions and may have negative consequences for those involved.