‘Why haven’t I got one of those?’ A consideration regarding the need to protect non-participant children in early years research

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


It is widely documented that young children participating in research should be protected from harm and that ethical considerations should be applied throughout a research project. What this paper strives to assert, however, is that protecting these participants is insufficient. A research project into children’s speech and language development, using audio–-visual methods, highlighted that children who are non-participants, those on the periphery of research, can also be affected by the research process. It is acknowledged throughout this paper that although ethical procedures were adhered to whilst undertaking a specific research project, this was insufficient. It is therefore argued that all children within a research environment, whether participatory or not, should be given equal consideration with regards to ethical protection when undertaking research. It is asserted that ‘“why haven’t I got one of those’”, or the equivalent, is a phrase to be avoided at all costs when undertaking research with children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Early Childhood Education Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2018



  • Ethics, early childhood, non-participant, maleficence, audio–visual methods

Cite this