© 2018

Being Participatory: Researching with Children and Young People

Co-constructing Knowledge Using Creative Techniques

  • Imelda Coyne
  • Bernie Carter

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Imelda Coyne, Bernie Carter
    Pages 1-13
  3. Catherine Wilkinson, Samantha Wilkinson
    Pages 15-35
  4. Kate Harvey
    Pages 57-78
  5. Judy Rollins
    Pages 79-102
  6. Faith Gibson, Lorna Fern, Kate Oulton, Kristin Stegenga, Susie Aldiss
    Pages 103-126
  7. Karen Ford, Steven Campbell
    Pages 127-146
  8. Sophie Hadfield-Hill, Cristiana Zara
    Pages 147-169

About this book


This book provides a clear framework for conducting participatory research with children and young people supported with practical examples from international research studies. Our aim is to encourage more participatory research with children and young people on all matters that affect their lives. This book illustrates innovative ways of being participatory and sheds new light on involvement strategies that play to children’s and young people’s competencies.

Participatory research is based on the recognition of children and young people as active contributors rather than objects of research. Participatory researchers support and value the voices of children and young people in all matters that concern them. Core to participatory research practice is a strengths-based approach that aims to promote  the active engagement of  children and young people in all stages of research, from inception to implementation. 

Engagement of children and young people requires the use of  creative, participatory methods, tools and involvement strategies to reveal children’s competencies. This book shares knowledge about creative participatory techniques that can enable and promote children’s ways of expressing their views and experiences. The book provides  guidance on appropriate techniques that reduce the power differential in the adult-child relationship and which optimise children’s abilities to participate in research.

This book is targeted at researchers, academics, practitioners who need guidance on what tools are available, how the tools can be used, advantages and challenges, and how best to involve children in all stages of a research project. It will provide several examples of how children can have an active participatory role in research.

There is increasing interest in involving children as co-researchers but little guidance on how this can be done. This book fills a gap in the current books by addressing all of these issues outlined above and by providing worked examples from leading researchers and academics. It will have wide appeal across a range of different disciplines.


Children and Young People Participatory research Participatory methods Experience Agency

Editors and affiliations

  • Imelda Coyne
    • 1
  • Bernie Carter
    • 2
  1. 1.Trinity College DublinSchool of Nursing & MidwiferyDublinIreland
  2. 2.Edge Hill UniversityFaculty of Health and Social CareOrmskirkUnited Kingdom

About the editors

Professor Imelda Coyne is a Children's nurse who cares passionately about children's rights and welfare. In her current position as Professor of Children’s Nursing (Trinity College Dublin Ireland) she leads a team of lecturers and researchers in the delivery of high quality teaching, clinical practice, and research. The central theme underpinning her programme of research is valuing children’s and young people’s voices and promoting their participation in matters that affect their lives. Programme of research includes: participation and shared decision-making, triadic decision-making; family centred care; chronic illness management and transition from child to adult services. She has over 200 publications in peer-reviewed journals and have written/co authored two children’s nursing textbooks. She presented widely (more than 150 papers) including many invited keynote presentations and delivered workshops internationally. She is a member of the European Academy of Nursing Science Board (EANS) and three editorial boards: Journal of Clinical Nursing; Nursing Children and Young People; and Nursing & Health Sciences. She is a reviewer for 19 peer reviewed journals and EU grants, Member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics Working Party on children and clinical research, and appointed Ambassador for  the Participation Hub for the Irish Government.  

Professor Bernie Carter is a Children’s nurse who has a long term commitment to participation and the importance of participation to the ways in which practitioners and researchers work with children, young people and their families. She works at Edge Hill University where she contributes to and leads the rapidly growing Children, Young People and Families Research Group. She is the Director of the Children’s Nursing Research Unit (CNRU) at Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust. The CNRU fosters a supportive environment in which clinical nurses and allied health professionals can develop and undertake robust research studies, implement research findings and establish integrated clinical-academic careers. She is the Director of ‘Circle’, an international collaboration of children’s nurses whose mission is ‘making things better for children and families’ through research. Key partners in ‘Circle’ are based in child health research units in New Zealand and Tasmania, offering fantastic opportunities for joint research and scholarship.
She published over 120 peer-reviewed articles and more than 60 editorials. She wrote or edited books on pain, researching with children and children’s nursing and contributed chapters to books; a good proportion of this work is highly relevant to the areas covered by the book proposed in this outline. She has been the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Child Health Care (Sage Publications) for 20 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Bibliographic information

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