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Studying refugee settlement with longitudinal research : methodological and ethical insights from the Good Starts study.

McMichael, C. and Nunn, C. and Gifford, S.M. and Correa-Velez, I. (2015) 'Studying refugee settlement with longitudinal research : methodological and ethical insights from the Good Starts study.', Journal of refugee studies., 28 (2). pp. 238-257.


Research involving resettled refugees raises methodological and ethical complexities. These complexities typically emerge within cross-sectional research that focuses on refugee experiences at a specific point in time. Given the long-term and dynamic nature of refugee settlement, longitudinal research is valuable, yet it raises distinct complexities within the research process. This article focuses on the methodological and ethical insights that emerged in a longitudinal study of settlement and wellbeing with a cohort of young people from refugee backgrounds in Australia. It considers: engagement and retention of a cohort over time; the need to adapt research tools to changing settlement contexts and life stages; participants’ experiences of long-term involvement in the study; and the challenge of timely translation of findings into evidence for policy and practice. The article contributes to a growing understanding of the practical, ethical and epistemological challenges and opportunities presented by longitudinal research, in this case, with resettled refugee background youth.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Methodology, Ethics, Refugee youth, Refugee settlement, Longitudinal research, Informed consent.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in 'Journal of Refugee Studies' following peer review. The version of record McMichael, C., Nunn, C., Gifford, S.M. & Correa-Velez, I. (2015). Studying refugee settlement with longitudinal research: methodological and ethical insights from the Good Starts study. Journal of Refugee Studies 28(2): 238-257 is available online at:
Date accepted:01 March 2015
Date deposited:07 December 2015
Date of first online publication:June 2015
Date first made open access:29 June 2016

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