Child and Youth Research as Theme in Seminar Organised by FSD and Finnish Information Centre for Register Research (ReTki)
Helena Laaksonen | Photo: Jonne Renvall
The common objective of the FSD and the Finnish Information Centre for Register Research (ReTki) is to increase the re-use of existing research data. Child, youth and child protection research is an area where researchers could benefit more from archived data and, on the other hand, also deposit their own research data. Therefore, child, youth and child protection research was selected as the theme for the joint seminar of the FSD and ReTki. The seminar was organised at the University of Tampere on October 31, 2008.
The seminar attracted almost a hundred interested participants from all over Finland. There is clearly a demand for information and discussion related to archived research data and register research. The seminar was not only aimed at researchers and teachers, but also at students, who constituted a very welcome part of the participants.
The FSD and ReTki organised a joint seminar for the first time. The Finnish Youth Research Society and the Finnish Youth Research Network were also involved in planning the programme and in the presentations.
More Information on Existing Data
One purpose of the joint seminar was to increase the child and youth researchers' awareness of existing datasets and their potential uses. Another goal was to let the participants know that it is often possible to find answers to research questions in existing datasets or registers, and therefore collecting new material may not be necessary.
Yet another objective was to engage the seminar participants in considering the relationship between research data and research questions. One would for example gain a completely different picture about the effectiveness of child custody mediation by combining register information and by interviewing individuals taken into custody at an early age. The same phenomenon can be studied using different data, but research questions and answers to them will be affected by the choice of material.
When research subjects belong to groups that require special protection, such as children and young people, researchers often have more reservations about sharing their material with other researchers or making it available for teaching and learning purposes. However, re-using data for other than original research purposes does not compromise the privacy of research subjects any more than the primary research does. The seminar aimed at and perhaps also succeeded in removing these fears.
The FSD and ReTki will continue their seminar co-operation this year.
Photo: Doctor of Social Sciences, Docent Tapio Kuure (in the picture) served as discussant of the group which dealt with child and youth research in the afternoon. The discussants' task was to comment on the introductions presented in the groups. Professor Tarja Pösö from the Department of Social Work Research at the University of Tampere acted as discussant of the group which handled child protection research.
» The seminar programme and presentations on the FSD website (in Finnish)
» "Data on Youth" theme page
» "Data on Children, Childhood and Family" theme page
» The Finnish Information Centre for Register Research (ReTki)
» The Finnish Youth Research Society