This paper presents the challenges and opportunities of using a participatory action research (PAR) methodology in a social science PhD exploring young people’s attitudes to sexting in Northern Ireland. Based upon a children’s rights approach, a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) was created to seek advice on data collection activities and resources to be used with the participants of the research. Single sex and mixed sex focus group interviews were conducted in one youth club with seventeen young people. PAR provides opportunities for young people to voice their views on matters affecting their lives, and supports the development of interpersonal, teamworking and research skills. Challenges of PAR included recruiting young people, gaining consent from young people and parents. This study highlights the importance of including young people as co-researchers. As a result of the method used, young people confirmed that Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) is inadequate.
- Participatory research
- Children's rights