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Homepage > Archive > Numar: 2 > Involvement of Children in the Preparation and Development of the BECAN Research (Balkan Epidemiological Study on Child Abuse and Neglect), Romania

 Involvement of Children in the Preparation and Development of the BECAN Research (Balkan Epidemiological Study on Child Abuse and Neglect), Romania

  • Corina Voicu (Babeş-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, School of Sociology and Social Work, 128-130 21 Decembrie 1989 Blvd., 400604 Cluj-Napoca, E-mail: )
  • Imola Antal (Babeş-Bolyai University, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Bd. 21 Decembrie 1989, no.128-130, Cluj-Napoca, phone: + 40264-42.46.74, e-mail:
  • Maria Roth (Professor, “Babes-Bolyai” University in Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, Bd 21 Decembrie 1989, no. 128, 400604, Romania. E-mail:

The involvement of the participants in all the phases of a research is an option of the researchers, which introduces the benefits and costs financially, methodologically, ethically, and from the outcome quality perspective. Children’s participation as resources for data collection regarding the violence against them, and including the different categories of vulnerable children in the research, are especially encouraged and effectively used by the UN Study on Violence against children (Pinheiro, 2006). Most recommendations agree that it is advisable to involve children as active agents of a research oriented towards the exploration of issues related to children’s lives; their involvement in the development of the research having direct benefits for them (Morrow, 2005; Kilkelly, Donnelly, 2011; Alderson, Morrow, 2011; Powell, 2012). According to the provisions of Art. 12 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child, all children have the right to express their opinion freely and to be informed on any matter concerning them, to request and receive any pertinent information, to be consulted and to be informed about the consequences which his or her opinion may generate. In order to collect prevalence data on children exposed to violence in their families, the BECAN research has chosen a methodology which requires a high involvement of children in all the phases of the research, in so far as the legal framework and the developmental level of the children allows. In the present article we analyze the way in which children have contributed to this research in its different phases (drafting the instruments, implementation, discussing the outcome), the benefits of the research, but also the ethical dilemmas we have faced.

Keywords: participatory research, child abuse and neglect, passive and active consent