Volume 3, Issue 3 (SEPTEMBER ISSUE 2022)                   johepal 2022, 3(3): 71-88 | Back to browse issues page


XML Print


Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

Woods S, Chambers T G, Eizadirad A. (2022). Emotional Vulnerability in Researchers Conducting Trauma-Triggering Research. johepal. 3(3), 71-88. doi:10.52547/johepal.3.3.71
URL: http://johepal.com/article-1-249-en.html
Abstract:   (1734 Views)
Qualitative researchers prioritize rapport-building to ensure safety of research participants and validity of data collected. Although there is extensive literature about prioritizing the safety and emotional well-being of research participants, much less has been written on the topic of researcher vulnerability with lack of consideration for researcher safety within ethics approval applications. The authors present a reflexive account of a research project involving interviews with young people aged 15 to 30 in Toronto, Canada who had firearm related charges. The methodological, ethical issues, and research burnout and vulnerability that arose due to the shared lived experience between the principal researcher and the research participants are discussed. Overall, the article explores the complexities and nuances involved when conducting research with topics that may be trauma-triggering and can contribute to researcher burnout and compassionate fatigue. It is argued that researchers are not immune to these risk factors and due to such exposure may experience depression and other negative side effects. Series of suggestions are outlined to reduce harm exposure for researchers and to improve how they can better be supported to cope and heal from conducting trauma-triggering research before, during, and after completion of a research project.
Full-Text [PDF 1431 kb]   (694 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2022/06/13 | Accepted: 2022/09/15 | Published: 2022/09/30

References
1. American Civil Liberties :union:. (2014). War comes home: The excessive militarization of American policing. https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/jus14-warcomeshome-report-web-rel1.pdf [Article]
2. Ashley-Binge, S., & Cousins, C. (2020). Individual and organisational practices addressing social workers’ experiences of vicarious trauma. Practice, 32(3), 191-207. [DOI]
3. Aymer, S. R. (2016). “I can’t breathe”: A case study—Helping Black men cope with race-related trauma stemming from police killing and brutality. Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, 26(3-4), 367-376. [DOI]
4. Bell, S. (1998). Self-reflection and vulnerability in action research: Bringing forth new worlds in our learning. Systemic Practice and Action Research, 11(2), 179-191. [DOI]
5. Berbary, L. A. (2014). Too good at fitting in: Methodological consequences and ethical adjustments. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 27(10), 1205-1225. [DOI]
6. Burns, E., Fenwick, J., Schmied, V., & Sheehan, A. (2012). Reflexivity in midwifery research: The insider/outsider debate. Midwifery, 28(1), 52-60. [DOI]
7. Campbell, A. B., & Eizadirad, A. (2022). Cultivating brave spaces to take risks to challenge systemic oppression. In A. Eizadirad, A. Campbell, & S. Sider (Eds.). Counternarratives of pain and suffering as critical pedagogy: Disrupting oppression in educational contexts (pp. 19-37). Routledge.
8. Cassell, C. (2005). Creating the interviewer: Identity work in the management research process. Qualitative Research, 5(2), 167-179. [DOI]
9. Chambers, T. N. G., Scott, F., & Wolak, K. (2018). Look at my life: 'Sparks' for firearm possession among young people in Toronto. Amadeusz. [Article]
10. Chavez, C. (2008). Conceptualizing from the inside: Advantages, complications, and demands on insider positionality. The Qualitative Report, 13(3), 474-494. [DOI]
11. Cohen, K., & Collens, P. (2013). The impact of trauma work on trauma workers: A metasynthesis on vicarious trauma and vicarious posttraumatic growth. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 5(6), 570-580. [DOI]
12. Dempsey, L., Dowling, M., Larkin, P., & Murphy, K. (2016). Sensitive interviewing in qualitative research. Research in Nursing and Health, 39(6), 480-490. [DOI]
13. Devilly, G. J., Wright, R., & Varker, T. (2009). Vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress or simply burnout? Effect of trauma therapy on mental health professionals. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43(4), 373-385. [DOI]
14. Dickson-Swift, V., James, E. L., Kippen, S., & Liamputtong, P. (2008). Risk to researchers in qualitative research on sensitive topics: Issues and strategies. Qualitative Health Research, 18(1), 133-144. [DOI]
15. Dickson-Swift, V., James, E. L., Kippen, S., & Liamputtong, P. (2007). Doing sensitive research: What challenges do qualitative researchers face? Qualitative Research, 7(3), 327-353. [DOI]
16. Douyon, E. (2016). Ethnocultural minorities and the Canadian correctional system. Correctional Service Canada. https://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/about-us/092/006-4000-eng.pdf [Article]
17. Elmir, R., Schmied, V., Jackson, D., & Wilkes, L. (2011). Interviewing people about potentially sensitive topics. Nurse Researcher, 19(1), 12-16. [DOI]
18. Emerald, E., & Carpenter, L. (2015). Vulnerability and emotions in research: Risks, dilemmas, and doubts. Qualitative Inquiry, 21(8), 741-750. [DOI]
19. Few, A. L., Stephens, D. P., & Rouse-Arnett, M. (2003). Sister-to-sister talk: Transcending boundaries and challenges in qualitative research with Black women. Family Relations, 52(3), 205-215. [DOI]
20. Finlay, L. (2002). “Outing” the researcher: The provenance, process, and practice of reflexivity. Qualitative Health Research, 12(4), 531-545. [DOI]
21. Fitzgerald, R. T., & Carrington, P. J. (2011). Disproportionate minority contact in Canada: Police and visible minority youth. Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice, 53(4), 449-486. [DOI]
22. Hanna, E. (2019). The emotional labour of researching sensitive topics online: Considerations and implications. Qualitative Research, 19(5), 524-539. [DOI]
23. Howard, L. C., & Hammond, S. P. (2019). Researcher vulnerability: Implications for educational research and practice. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 32(4), 411-428. [DOI]
24. Innes, R. A. (2009). “Wait a second. Who are you anyways?”: The insider/outsider debate and American Indian studies. American Indian Quarterly, 33(4), 440-461. [Article]
25. Keil, S., Beardslee, J., Schubert, C., Mulvey, E., & Pardini, D. (2020). Perceived gun access and gun carrying among male adolescent offenders. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 18(2), 179-195. [DOI]
26. Komaromy, C. (2020). The performance of researching sensitive issues. Mortality, 25(3), 364-377. [DOI]
27. Lopez, W. D., Novak, N. L., Harner, M., Martinez, R., & Seng, J. S. (2018). The traumatogenic potential of law enforcement home raids: An exploratory report. Traumatology, 24(3), 193-199. [DOI]
28. Malakieh, J. (2018). Adult and youth correctional statistics in Canada, 2016/2017. Juristat, (85). Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 85-002-x. [Article]
29. Mallon, S., & Elliott, I. (2019). The emotional risks of turning stories into data: An exploration of the experiences of qualitative researchers working on sensitive topics. Societies, 9, 62. [DOI]
30. May, V. M. (2014). “Speaking into the void”? Intersectionality critiques and epistemic backlash. Hypatia, 29(1), 94-112. [DOI]
31. McCosker, H., Barnard, A., & Gerber, R. (2001). Undertaking sensitive research: Issues and strategies for meeting the safety needs of all participants. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 2(1). [DOI]
32. McGowan, B. L. (2018). Unanticipated contexts for vulnerability: An exploration of how Black college men made meaning of a research interview process involving sensitive topics. The Journal of Men’s Studies, 26(3), 266-283. [DOI]
33. Mealer, M., & Jones Rn, J. (2014). Methodological and ethical issues related to qualitative telephone interviews on sensitive topics. Nurse Researcher, 21(4), 32-37. [DOI]
34. Micanovic, L. S., Stelko, S., & Sakic, S. (2020). Who else needs protection? Reflecting on researcher vulnerability in sensitive research. Societies, 10(1), 3. [DOI]
35. Moore, D. D. (2015). Experience of being an insider and an outsider during a qualitative study with men who have expereinced significant weight loss. The Qualitative Report, 20(1), 87-106. [DOI]
36. Ochieng, B. M. N. (2010). "You know what I mean": The ethical and methodological dilemmas and challenges for Black researchers interviewing Black families. Qualitative Health Research, 20(12), 1725-1735. [DOI]
37. Råheim, M., Magnussen, L. H., Sekse, R. J. T., Lunde, Å., Jacobsen, T., & Blystad, A. (2016). Researcher-researched relationship in qualitative research: Shifts in positions and researcher vulnerability. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being, 11(1). 1-12. [DOI]
38. Razon, N., & Ross, K. (2012). Negotiating fluid Identities: Alliance-building in qualitative interviews. Qualitative Inquiry, 18(6), 494-503. [DOI]
39. Sollund, R. (2008). Tested neutrality: Emotional challenges in qualitative interviews on homicide and rape. Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention, 9(2), 181-201. [DOI]
40. Spano, R., & Bolland, J. (2013). Disentangling the effects of violent victimization, violent behavior, and gun carrying for minority inner-city youth living in extreme poverty. Crime & Delinquency, 59(2), 191-213. [DOI]
41. Teplin, L. A., Jakubowski, J. A., Abram, K. M., Olson, N. D., Stokes, M. L., & Welty, L. J. (2014). Firearm homicide and other causes of death in delinquents: A 16-Year prospective study. Pediatrics, 134(1), 63-73. [DOI]
42. Thompson, S., Marsh, P., Mond, J., & Brown, C. (2019). Applying participatory health research elements in rural end-of-life research: Reflections on conducting in-depth interviews with participants on sensitive topics. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 20(3). [DOI]
43. Wortley, S., & Owusu-Bempah, A. (2012). Race, ethnicity, crime and criminal justice in Canada. In A. Kalunta-Crumpton (Ed.), Race, ethnicity, crime and criminal justice in the Americas (pp. 11-40). Palgrave Macmillan. [DOI]
44. Zhang, G., Nakamoto, J., & Wendt, S. (2021). Proximity of gun stores to high schools and student gun carrying. Crime and Delinquency, 67(9), 1381-1403. [DOI]

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

© 2024 CC BY-NC 4.0 | Journal of Higher Education Policy And Leadership Studies

Designed & Developed by : Yektaweb