Ethical Dilemmas of a Clinician/Researcher interviewing Women who Have Grown Up in a Family Where There Was Domestic Violence

Clarissa Sammut Scerri, Angela Abela, Arlene Vetere

Abstract


This paper attempts to illuminate some of the ethical dilemmas of a clinician/researcher interviewing women about a sensitive topic- their experience of having witnessed domestic violence in the family they grew up in, as part of a grounded theory study. Vignettes are presented to illustrate the self-reflexive process of the researcher and how she understood the effects of the interview process on her and the participants. The authors argue that doing in-depth qualitative research interviewing is an intervention in the life of the participants, especially, but not only, when the researchers are clinically-trained. However, this clinical training may also be an important resource from which to draw from, to act ethically and understand some of the complexity of the interaction between researcher and participants.

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