Assessing the Risks Versus Benefits of Conducting Research with Adolescents in Foster Care
Badillo-Urquiola, K., Harpin, S., Taliaferro, L., Ghosh, A.K., and Wisniewski, P. (2017) “Assessing the Risks versus Benefits of Conducting Research with Adolescents in Foster Care,” Extended Abstract presented at the Workshop on Privacy Ethics at the 2017 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooper
4 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2018
Date Written: March 1, 2017
For researchers and designers to produce better design solutions for promoting adolescent online safety, we need access to study adolescent populations. While HCI research has moved in the direction of engaging directly with teens, this progress does not come without costs. Further, it also does not take into account the needs of particularly vulnerable teen populations. For instance, teens in foster care face higher levels of risk in general and, thus, have a greater need for protection beyond typical teens. Yet, when studying this population, many ethical challenges arise concerning a teen’s privacy and eligibility to participate in research when they are part of the foster system. These challenges include: 1) Consent and Assent, 2) Confidentiality and Privacy, and 3) Sensitive Data. The goal of this paper is to present situations in which a researcher must evaluate the tradeoffs between privacy and advancing knowledge to benefit vulnerable populations, such as youth in foster care.
Keywords: Adolescents, Foster Care, Foster Parents, Informed Consent, Confidentiality, Privacy, Ethics
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