Negotiating Research Participant Consent With, for and by Adults With Developmental Disabilities in Interaction With Their Third-Party Consent Providers

Negotiating Research Participant Consent With, for and by Adults With Developmental Disabilities in Interaction With Their Third-Party Consent Providers
Research Article
Nick Boettcher, Camille Duque, Bonnie M. Lashewicz
International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 13 March 2022
Open Access
Abstract
We illuminate third-party research participant consent with, for, and by adults with developmental disabilities by examining consent as an iterative, ongoing process. We use an instrumental case study of three adults with developmental disabilities who, together with their third-party consent providing parents, participated in a broader conversation and video analysis study of how family members are part of decision-making by adults with developmental disabilities. Adults with developmental disabilities comprising our case demonstrated discomfort that left us with questions about the relational nature of third-party consent. We performed a directed content analysis of transcripts and video data corresponding to moments of discomfort, resulting in categories of one- distress, two- non-disclosure, and three- evasion. Our findings illustrate ambiguities where consent was at stake and where there appeared to be no ultimate “Yes” or “No” interpretation. We conclude that expressions of resistance to research participation by adults with developmental disabilities displayed in our data were assertions of autonomy that occurred in relation, yet ran counter to, the agendas of researchers and third-party consent providing parents. We offer recommendations for researchers in the developmental disability field and for qualitative researchers more broadly who might encounter similar ambiguities amidst the relational workings of consent. Greater analytic attention to the relational dynamics of consent has potential to expand ethical commitments of qualitative researchers beyond the limited range of meanings offered in ethics board approvals and signed consent forms.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s