SAGE Journal Articles

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Leakey, Lunde, Koga, and Glanz, Written Parental Consent and the Use of Incentives in a Youth Smoking Prevention Trial: A Case Study From Project SPLASH. American Journal of Evaluation December 2004 vol. 25 no. 4 509-52.

More Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are requiring written parental consent in school health intervention trials. Because this requirement presents a formidable challenge in conducting large-scale research, it is vital for investigators to share effective strategies learned from completed trials. Investigators for the recently completed Project SPLASH (n= 3,716) smoking prevention trial, conducted in 20 Hawaii middle schools, were required to obtain active parental consent for three surveys across 2 years. This case study describes the consent procedures and incentives used in the trial, and their effectiveness. The overall parental response rate was 85.4%. The highest response rate (89.5%) came from the 7th grade baseline survey, where project staff distributed consent materials and provided class-based incentives. In addition, nearly all students (99.0%) with parental permission assented to participate in the three surveys. The experiences in this study lead to several recommendations for future research, including the importance of assuring adequate funds for recruitment and retention in research grants.

Guenther, The politics of names: rethinking the methodological and ethical significance of naming people, organizations, and places. Qualitative Research September 2009 vol. 9 no. 4 411-421.

This article examines how the decision to use real names or pseudonyms for people, organizations, and places involves consideration of the ethics of confidentiality, the power of naming, and strategies for fieldwork and presentation of findings. While these issues are infrequently discussed in published work, qualitative researchers need to attend to how we decide what names to use in presenting our findings.

Rather than avoiding discussions of confidentiality, qualitative researchers should address the implications of their decisions regarding the use of pseudonyms or real names for the confidentiality of our respondents, for our relationships with respondents, for our commitments to transformative social science, and for our findings.