Describe two dilemmas that counselor might face in attempting to plan research with special populations

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Discussion question: Describe two dilemmas that counselor might face in attempting to plan research with special populations (e.g., seriously mentally ill, children, persons with disabilities, elderly, other members of a marginalized group of people). What are some ethical dilemmas a researcher could face with these populations? What principles of ethical research are involved? How would you handle these dilemmas in planning your research? Be sure to include references to justify your responses. Classmate response to discussion question: Two vulnerable populations are children and prisoners. A dilemma with children is that they cannot exactly give consent are are easily coerced (Balkin & Kleist, 2017). One way to avoid this is by ensuring parental consent but also telling the child they are not forced to participate. According to Balkin and Kleist, “The simple fact that the parent is providing permission in the presence of the child could cause the child to agree to participate without truly wanting to participate” (2017). Ethically, children need to know they are not being forced to participate and can choose to leave the study at any time. However, it is good to have a positive reinforcement and reward at the end so children want to remain in the study and the research is not ruined. Another vulnerable population is prisoners. Prisoners are incarcerated and therefore lack representation. That is why the IRB assigns representatives to be assigned to represent them and the IRB process is so extensive to ensure clients best interest is being maintained (Balkin & Kleist, 2017). The biggest ethical dilemma is the power imbalance between prisoners and researchers or other staff. Prisoners have the same ethical rights in research that include being able to leave the study at any time and giving proper consent. The IRB ensures all ethical guidelines are followed, so to avoid dilemmas, the best thing to do is not have a study that can harm participants emotionally, physically, or psychologically. Vulnerable populations need proper representation and to be reminded of their rights as a participant. Balkin, R., & Kleist, D. (2017). Counseling research: A practitioner-scholar approach. Wiley. ISBN-13: 9781119375425

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