Involving young people in cyberbullying research: the implementation and evaluation of a rights-based approach.

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Dennehy, Rebecca
Cronin, Mary
Arensman, Ella
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Background: Cyberbullying is an international Public Health concern. Efforts to understand and address it can be enhanced by involving young people. This paper describes a rights‐based collaboration with young people in a qualitative exploration of cyberbullying. It describes the establishment, implementation and evaluation of a Young Person's Advisory Group as well as identifying the impact on the research process and the young people involved. Methods: Sixteen post primary school students met with researchers on five occasions in a youth centre. Sessions focused on building the young people's capacity to engage with the research, designing the qualitative study, interpreting study findings and evaluating the collaboration process. Results: The Advisory Group highlighted a lack of understanding and appropriate action with regard to cyberbullying but believed that their involvement would ultimately help adults to understand their perspective. Evaluation findings indicate that members were supported to form as well as express their views on the design, conduct and interpretation of the research and that these views were acted upon by adult researchers. Their involvement helped to ensure that the research was relevant and reflective of the experiences, interests, values and norms of young people. Conclusion: Young people can contribute a unique perspective to the research process that is otherwise not accessible to adult researchers. The approach described in this study is a feasible and effective way of operationalizing young people's involvement in health research and could be adapted to explore other topics of relevance to young people.
Children's rights , Collaboration , Cyberbullying , Patient and public involvement , Qualitative research , Young people
Dennehy, R., Cronin, M. and Arensman, E. (2018) 'Involving young people in cyberbullying research: The implementation and evaluation of a rights-based approach', Health Expectations, In Press, doi: 10.1111/hex.12830