ESRA 2019 Programme at a Glance

Surveying Children and Young People 2

Session Organisers Ms Kate Smith (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education, London )
Dr Emily Gilbert (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL Institute of Education, London )
TimeWednesday 17th July, 11:00 - 12:30
Room D22

Many large-scale surveys successfully collect a variety of distinct types of data from children and young people (up to the age of 25). However, there is relatively little methodological evidence in this area. Much of the literature relating to children and young people’s participation in research focuses on small-scale qualitative studies and tends to concentrate on ethical issues relating to the rights of children and young people in research. This session will cover the challenges and experiences of including children and young people in surveys as they move from childhood to adulthood, and related survey design issues. A major challenge when interviewing teenagers is that while children’s participation in surveys is often mediated by and involves their parents, teenagers and young people make autonomous decisions, bringing challenges particularly in terms of engagement. The session aims to explore a variety of methodological issues around surveying young people. Submissions are particularly welcomed on:
- designing questionnaires for children and young people, including question testing methods
- collecting data on sensitive topics from young people, including methods for ensuring privacy and encouraging accurate reporting
- collecting different types of data from children and young people including physical measurements and cognitive assessments
- using different methods of data collection, including the use of innovative technology such as the web and mobile phones
- inclusivity in data collection methods, including facilitating the participation of children and young people with lower literacy levels
- assessing the reliability and validity of children and young people’s self-reports
- preventing non-response by engaging young people in research, including designing survey materials to appeal to young people and using new technology and digital media for participant engagement
- the challenges of retaining young people’s contact and interest in surveys over time
- ethical issues in involving children and young people in surveys, including gaining informed consent and protecting young people’s rights and well-being

Keywords: Children, young people, surveys

Children's Views on Participating in Research

Dr Katrina Lloyd (ARK, Queen's University Belfast) - Presenting Author
Dr Martina McKnight (ARK, Queen's University Belfast)

A considerable body of empirical research with children has been undertaken in the last two decades, fuelled by the development of the sociology of childhood and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, while much attention has been given to developing children’s participation in research, little is known about the extent of their involvement in, and attitudes to, research. To address this deficit, a module of questions was included in the 2018 Kids' Life and Times which is an annual online survey of 10 and 11 year old children in Northern Ireland. The respondents were asked about their involvement in research, the types of research they have taken part in and whether they enjoyed it. They were also asked how important they thought it was for children to be involved in research on issues that affected them, what types of research they would most like to participate in and what advice they would give to researchers who wanted to involve children in research. This presentation will discuss the children's views on research in light of assumptions that we, as adults, often make about the importance of involving children in research and the types of research that they might enjoy participating in.

Seeking Data Linkage Consent from Children and Young People: The Experience of the Age 17 Survey of the Millennium Cohort Study

Miss Kirsty Burston (Ipsos MORI) - Presenting Author
Dr Darina Peycheva (Centre for Longitudinal Studies, UCL)

The benefits of linking administrative records have been increasingly recognised among survey researchers. Linking administrative records in most circumstances relies on participants’ informed consent, whether as an only lawful basis or in addition, for ethical reasons, to other more appropriate lawful grounds for processing personal information. Thus, study members are often asked for permission to link information held about them by government departments to the data they provide in the survey. Asking such permission is a challenging element in any survey and even more in surveys of children and young people.

The proposed presentation will focus upon the design of the data linkage protocol and consent related materials aimed at ensuring informed consent among 17 year olds in the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). As part of the Age 17 Survey, study members were asked for their permission to add information from their education, health, economic, police and criminal justice records to the information collected about them in the survey.

We will describe how the development work conducted informed the design of the consent process to be suitable for 17-year olds, looking specifically at the content of the participant facing materials. We will highlight the role of the administrative data holders in approving the materials and protocols intended to obtain informed consent to link administrative records held by them to the participants’ survey data. We will draw attention to the interviewers witnessing the consent process and required to confirm the young person’s understanding and willingness to consent. As well as the role of the parent in the consent decision-making process. The presentation will also explore further considerations for ensuring high consent rates among this audience in the future.

"Whakarongo mai" - Listen to My Voice: Capturing the Diverse Realities of NZ Children

Professor Susan Morton (University of Auckland) - Presenting Author

Growing Up in New Zealand is NZ's contemporary longitudinal cohort study that follows over 6000 children from before their birth. The study's overarching aim is to to track what shapes children's wellbeing and development in the context of growing up in NZ in the 21st century. To date multiple face to face Data Collection Waves (DCWs) have been undertaken with parents and children in pregnancy and throughout childhood. Retention rates have been high by international standards (over 90% of baseline to date). As the cohort now embark on adolescence retention becomes more challenging and utilising innovative strategies to engage with the children on their own terms become increasingly important for retention as well as for the collection of robust scientific data that can be used to inform policies to improve wellbeing, and reduce inequalities in outcomes, for all population sub-groups.
We will provide evidence about the utility of different modes of data collection used within the cohort and their impact on retention and on the quality and completeness of the context relevant information that resulted.
We will discuss strategies that have been useful within the ethnically and socioeconomically diverse NZ cohort and those that have been more challenging to implement. In particular we will focus on modes of data collection that have and will enable us to "hear the voices" of the cohort members directly. This information can provide valuable data about churn and choice in the cohort children's lives that helps to understand why we see particular patterns of risk factors in administrative/BiG data and what can work to create resilience in the face of exposure to adversity.

Using Life-Line Interviews in Research of Life Trajectories of Children from Disadvantaged Families

Miss Anastasia Ruppel (NGO Stellit, Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
Mrs Maia Rusakova (NGO Stellit, Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
Mrs Veronika Odinokova (NGO Stellit, Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences) - Presenting Author
Miss Vladlena Avdeeva (NGO Stellit, Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
Mrs Ksenia Eritsyan (NGO Stellit,Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)
Mrs Lyubimova Alexandra (NGO Stellit,Sociological Institute of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences)

The Life-line Interview Method (Assink M., Schroots, J. J., 2010; Pirskanen, H., Jokinen, K, 2015 etc.) is not used often in research of children aged 10-17. In the project "Social trajectories of childhood in contemporary Russia” the method is used as visualising part of an in-depth interview with a child and their parents, staying in a difficult life situation and living in St. Petersburg, Russia. A total of 110 children aged 10-17 years and 89 their parents were interviewed. The method was used with both a child and parent (the latest gave us a life-line for the child). The outcome of the interviews with children varied widely, from a detailed biographical narrative to a meager listing of one or two facts. The variation was determined by several factors including objective differences in the density of life events, age and cognitive level of the child, understanding of the concept of the life-line, interaction between the interviewer and the child. Some children quickly understood the task and even ignored any instructions about the lifeline, while others clarified whether their event was appropriate, whether it was too “petty”. The life-line was not always represented as a line, but often as separate islands, points or clusters of events within the same time period. Method helped us to get not only a chronology of significant life events, but also to understand how children interpret these events and its influences upon their life course. The Life-line Interview allows to get unique data from children’s point of view, and to analyze the differences in facts and interpretation given by children themselves and their parents.