The Open UniversitySkip to content

Home truths: ethical issues in family research

Gabb, Jacqui (2010). Home truths: ethical issues in family research. Qualitative Research, 10(4) pp. 461–478.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (149kB)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article interrogates the shifting ethical contours of research on contemporary childhood and family living. I reflect on increases in ethical regulation and the role of ethics review panels. Drawing on original data from empirical research I examine some of the ethical issues that arise in studies of family life with particular attention to qualitative mixed methods research and the use of psychosocial approaches. I propose that multilayered in-depth approaches require us to consider carefully ethical standpoints, affecting how we thread together individual and/or family case studies. Unsettling stories in research on emotional - social worlds refine our understandings of ‘harm’ and ‘distress’ and reconfigure ideas of ‘responsible knowing’. Qualitative mixed methods research situates ‘messy’, conflicting and unfavourable data as part of ordinary parenthood, reformulating ethical and epistemological dilemmas for researchers of personal lives.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 Sage Publications
ISSN: 1741-3109
Keywords: family studies; research ethics; ethical regulation; qualitative mixed methods; sociology; psychosocial approaches; responsible knowing
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Social Policy and Criminology
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 19731
Depositing User: Jacqui Gabb
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2010 15:15
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 16:35
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU