The IRB Process
Generic Assent Procedure
Obtaining assent is dependent on the cognitive capacity of the child and the nature of the research participant. Thus, the example which follows is just a starting point. Every attempt should be made to obtain at least assent when working with children. The researcher should attempt to obtain a signature if at all possible.
1. Hi, [child's name].
2. My name is _____________, and I am trying to learn more about [Description of project in appropriate language].
3. I would like you to [Description of what you would like the child to do; include video/audio taping if appropriate. Try to avoid using words like “help” and “cooperate” which might suggest coercion].
4. Do you want to do this? [If the child does not indicate affirmative agreement, you cannot continue with this child].
5. Do you have any questions before we start? [Clarify if necessary].
6. If you want to stop at any time just tell me.
A signature can be solicited if appropriate.
A witness statement can be added if the extra protection provided by it is desired.