5 Considerations When Asked to Participate in Research
Odds are, you’ve been asked to participate in research at some point in your life. Scientific research is the backbone of many fields, including that of Applied Behaviour Analysis, and those fields often rely on voluntary participation in research for scientific advancement.
Especially within the field of ABA, research is increasingly being conducted from a family-centred point of view. There are a number of reasons for this, as outlined in Mary Beth Bruder’s 2000 article Family-Centred Early Intervention: Clarifying Our Values for the New Millennium:
1.) Knowledge is subjective. In other words, what we call “facts” are different from society to society, from context to context and even from person to person. If we do not participate in research, we risk using theories that do not necessarily accurately represent our interests and specific situations.
2.) We are experts on our own lives. When we participate in research, we are supporting our status as such.
3.) Nobody is more knowledgeable about your community than the people who live in it. Ergo, nobody is better suited to addressing your community’s needs than those who live in it.
4.) When research is designed with a family-centred focus, we are able to make sure that people from all levels of the system – from children and parents to intervention professionals to policymakers – are involved in that research.
5.) When research is designed with a family-centred focus, it emphasizes collaboration with the family, rather than an attitude of “doing experiments ” on the child or family.
Some interesting points to consider the next time you are asked to participate in research focused on families.