Tōku Reo, Tōku Whakāetanga, Tōku Mana: My Voice, My Informed Consent
Barbarich, Te Wai Mary Iris
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Based on a balanced and fair understanding of what is involved throughout the research process, informed consent acts as an agreement for participants to be fully informed about a research study before deciding to participate. This kaupapa Māori research explored the perspectives and understandings of seven rangatahi aged between 13 and 17 years from a secondary school in Tamaki Makaurau about the informed consent process in research studies. The aim was to understand how the informed consent process is interpreted by rangatahi and the factors that contribute to their decision to participate in research. A focus group was carried out with the rangatahi to elicit their views on the kaupapa and create healthy kōrero amongst peers. This research sits within a kaupapa Māori paradigm and uses cultural values to underpin every aspect of the research; thus, ensuring a safe research for rangatahi and making certain their voices are heard. This research demonstrates the importance of carrying out research with rangatahi that provides information which uses youth-friendly terminology and is conducted in a mana-enhancing way. The thesis demonstrates that rangatahi are very much autonomous and make decisions in their everyday lives. Therefore, it is important for researchers to acknowledge young people’s decision-making skills and provide a process that allows them to be fully informed and reduce barriers put in place that jeopardises their autonomy. Several recommendations were identified by rangatahi to improve the informed consent process carried out with young people. These recommendations will help rangatahi gain a better understanding of why they choose to consent or not-consent to participate in research, and increase the rigour of research because rangatahi become more comfortable and familiar with the research aims. Overall, this research has been gifted with useful messages for researchers to create an informed consent process that would be more beneficial for both rangatahi and researchers in the coming times.