Wednesday, January 14, 2009

McCreary in the news

In light of our discussions Tuesday evening, I was interested to hear a news item on the Wednesday edition CBC morning show "The Early Edition" about an analysis of a 2006 study on aboriginal youth. What caught my ear was a mention of the McCreary Society. (The story mentioned that the original study was not solely about aboriginal youth.) I wondered about the active consent of the participants of the original study. This is a real life example of a secondary study based on what might be data from a "tainted" source. The podcast of today's show should be available shortly from the CBC site.

An interesting detail about the original survey:
Youth between the ages of 12 and 18 completed the survey. The average age was 16 years old. 48 per cent were male, 51 per cent were female, and one per cent were transgender or did not provide this information.
How was consent obtained? As I read the quick overview of the survey, I wondered how easy it would be to track down the participants and discover their identity if I really wanted to.

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