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Critically discuss the challenges associated with ‘participation’ when conducting research with children and young people.

  Research with children and young people has a varied history across the centuries. Approaches and methods have changed as the concept of childhood have grown and expanded due to the influences of societies and cultures, how adults viewed children would dictate the extent to which children were allowed to take part in research, if at all. The challenges to children taking part in research will be discussed within this essay and will include the topics of voice and whether children who do take part in research are truly heard, agency and how research methods have been adapted to allow children more choice to participate, and ethics, how researchers deal with the issues of children consenting to participation. Children can give researchers unique views of their lives that are critical to understanding their worlds. An important feature of childhood studies is the recognition of children and young people as valuable partners in research. Using the example of looked-after children, it can