Research with Children & Adolescents

For research involving children or minors (<18 years of age), the federal regulations require that assent of the minor child and the permission of the legal parent/guardian are received.

Developing Parental/Guardian Consent

The Parental/Guardian Consent generally includes the same elements of a research consent form, but is directed to the parent/guardian of the minor. Informing the parent/guardian of the purpose of the study, why their child fits the study inclusion criteria, steps for human subject protections, and benefits/risks should be provided.

  • Template Consent Form (Researchers are free to use this template as a guide to develop their parental/guardian Consents.)

Developing the Child/Minor Assent

Important: The process of getting assent from the child participants should be provided in the IRB application. Assents can be verbal or in written format (depending on the age of the participant). Use the following guidelines to develop your child assent plan.

Suggested Approaches for Child Assent

Resources retrieved and adapted from Virginia Tech.