Potential challenges of using narrative inquiry with at-risk young people

Lesley Douglas, Kim Usher, Cindy Woods, Debra Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Being 'at risk' puts an individual in danger of future negative outcomes. Conducting qualitative research such as narrative inquiry with at-risk individuals may result in challenges for participants and researchers.

Aim: To present an overview of several challenges that arose when conducting narrative research with at-risk young people.

Discussion: The main challenges were disclosure of trauma, existing relationships, insider and outsider perspectives, power relationships, and the emotional safety of participants and researchers.

Conclusions: It is imperative to identify potential challenges before beginning research and make plans to address them.

Implication for practice: Researchers can use this article to help plan for challenges that may arise with this kind of research with vulnerable participants.

Keywords: challenges; data collection; narrative; qualitative research; risk factors; safeguarding; study design; vulnerable groups; young people.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalNurse Researcher
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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