LUSHEY, C. and MUNRO, E.R., 2014. Peer research methodology: an effective method for obtaining young people’s perspectives on transitions from care to adulthood? Qualitative Social Work, 14(4), pp. 522–537.
Peer research has the potential to empower young people to participate in research by
minimising power imbalances between researchers and participants; this may reduce
bias and promote improved understanding to inform policy and practice. However,
these benefits are not automatic; the relative inexperience of peer researchers adds
layers of complexity to the research process. Moreover, the validity of findings from
research adopting less traditional methods may be questioned and policy makers may be
cautious about accepting this evidence, thus limiting its contribution and impact. This
paper explores the advancement of participatory peer researcher methodology in
research with children in and leaving care and ethical, practical and data quality issues
that arose in two studies exploring young people’s transitions from care to adulthood.
It concludes that the peer research methodology can yield rich data but that adequate
resources and effective research management are crucial. The authors also caution
against a reductionist approach that privileges peer research methodology above
other methods of inquiry in the study of transitions from care to adulthood.
This article was published in the journal, Qualitative Social Work and is available from SAGE at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1473325014559282