Informed Consent in Research With Homeless Youth
Informed consent in research with homeless youth is an important component of ethical research. This is especially true for youth who are not able to provide their own informed consent, because they are often vulnerable to coercion and research incentives. While a written informed consent form is essential, there are other aspects of informed consent that must be considered.
Written informed consent form
Informed consent is an important aspect of conducting research with homeless youth. Youth who are homeless or runaway from home are often in vulnerable circumstances, and obtaining their consent can be challenging. There are guidelines that provide guidance on how to collect consent, including minimum age requirements and interview protocols. However, there are many special considerations for homeless youth that researchers must take into account when obtaining consent.
First, research participants must obtain a parent’s or caregiver’s consent. This is particularly important if the youth are runaways. Although the researchers will usually contact parents or legal guardians, they may not be aware of their child’s involvement in the study. Alternatively, youth may not want the researcher to contact their parents or guardians. In addition, parents may not return consent forms or may not be concerned about the child’s welfare.
Additionally, research with homeless youth must consider the fact that the youth may have encountered a variety of frustrations and injustices in the healthcare system. This may have caused them to feel leery of seeking mental health treatment. Therefore, they should be involved in the development of research proposals.
Coercion is an ethical concern associated with research with homeless youth. It should be avoided whenever possible and participants should be compensated appropriately for their participation. Incentives are not a suitable substitute for informed consent. This means that researchers should use a case-by-case approach and ensure that the youth understand the purpose of the research before they agree to participate.
Coercion is a common occurrence among homeless youth. Many times, homeless youth sell sex in exchange for money, or trade information in exchange for a basic need. This form of coercion is particularly problematic for this population, since the youth are vulnerable and can be easily manipulated.
Historically, research with homeless youth has focused on large metropolitan areas on the east and west coasts. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York City have been the main areas for such studies. Midwestern and southern cities, however, have relatively few homeless street youth under the age of 18.
Mental competency and informed consent are issues that must be carefully addressed in research with homeless youth. Runaway and homeless youth may lack the ability to consent to research, and many youth do not want to be contacted by researchers. These concerns can prevent the youth from participating in research, but service providers can help by locating and meeting their needs in nontraditional settings. Often, service providers can employ outreach workers to identify these youth. Regardless of the situation, these issues must be addressed to ensure that the research is ethically sound and that appropriate interventions can be implemented.
Psychotherapy can help homeless youth overcome their struggles and achieve a sense of stability. It can also reduce the imminent threats to their health and safety. Psychotherapy can also assist these youths in addressing drug and alcohol problems, and reducing their risk for HIV exposure. In addition, it can help them cope with their current situation by facilitating their transition from the streets to more stable housing.