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Participatory arts-based methods such as photovoice, drama and music have been increasingly used to engage young people who are exposed to psychosocial risks. These methods have the potential to empower young people and provide them with a safe and accessible environment to express and manage difficult feelings and experiences. These effects are, however, dependent on the way these methods are implemented and how potential ethical concerns are handled. Using the current literature on arts-based health research as a foundation, this paper examines ethical issues emerging from participatory arts methods with young people with traumatic experiences. A typology is presented covering ethical issues such as power, accessibility, communication, trust and ownership, across the domains of partnership working, project entry, participation and dissemination. Drawing on our extensive clinical and research experiences, existing research, and novel in-practice examples, we offer creative solutions to ethical dilemmas that might arise at different phases of research. Adequate anticipation and consideration of these issues, together with the involvement of young people, will help ensure that arts-based methodology is implemented in research and practice with young people in a fair, meaningful and empowering way.

Original publication




Journal article


Center for Open Science

Publication Date