Dating and Sexual Violence Research in the Schools

Balancing Protection of Confidentiality with Supporting the Welfare of Survivors

Jill D. Sharkey, Lauren Reed, Erika D. Felix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rigorous research and program evaluation are needed to understand the experience of dating and sexual violence among youth and the impact of prevention and intervention efforts. Our dilemma in doing this work occurred when youth disclosed dating and sexual violence on a research survey. What responsibility do researchers have to protect survivors’ confidentiality as a research participant versus taking steps to ensure the student has the opportunity to access help? In our evaluation of a pilot dating violence prevention program, our protocols employed widely used procedures for providing resources to participants upon their completion of the survey and de-identifying survey data. Upon reviewing preliminary survey results, we became concerned that these established procedures were not sufficient to support research participants who were adolescent survivors of dating and sexual violence. We followed a structured ethical decision-making process to examine legal and ethical considerations, consult with colleagues, consider impacts and alternative solutions, and ultimately find a solution. Through this process, we developed procedures that balance participant confidentiality and the desire to support the welfare of survivors, which other researchers may want to employ when conducting youth sexual and dating violence research in school and community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-367
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Volume60
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Confidentiality
Sex Offenses
sexual violence
Survivors
welfare
Research
school
violence
Research Personnel
survey research
evaluation
decision-making process
Program Evaluation
adolescent
Decision Making
responsibility
Intimate Partner Violence
Students
resources
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Community psychology
  • Confidentiality
  • Dating violence
  • Ethics
  • Sexual violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Dating and Sexual Violence Research in the Schools : Balancing Protection of Confidentiality with Supporting the Welfare of Survivors. / Sharkey, Jill D.; Reed, Lauren; Felix, Erika D.

In: American Journal of Community Psychology, Vol. 60, No. 3-4, 01.12.2017, p. 361-367.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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