Conducting Research Interviews on Sensitive Topics
Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA)
Researchers use interviewing as a qualitative tool to answer research questions. Researchers have an ethical obligation to protect study participants from harm, particularly when asking about sensitive topics. Interviews on potentially sensitive topics (e.g., victimization, criminal offending behaviors, substance use) can elicit emotional responses from both the participant and the interviewer. However, research has found the benefits to participating in interviews on sensitive topics generally outweigh risks to participants. This article offers recommendations to researchers conducting qualitative interviews on sensitive topics, including creating a safe environment, offering compensation and referrals, and considering staff well-being. (Author Abstract)
Research Review, Training for Researchers, Victim Protection, Sensitive Research Methods, Vulnerable Populations, Emotional Distress, Reactions to Research Participation, Victim Safety, Well-being, Vicarious Trauma, Secondary Trauma, Compensation, Referrals, Compensation
Muraglia, Sammantha; Vasquez, Amanda; Reichert, Jessica. (2020). Conducting Research Interviews on Sensitive Topics. Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.