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Exploring the Impact of Self-Help Group on Incest Victims in a Clinical Research Context: A Methodological and Ethical Reflection

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By: Marie-Anaïs Roques & Evelyne Bouteyre Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

Conducting research as an observer within a self-help group is a methodological and personal challenge. This case study describes our experience as researchers working in a self-help group designed for incest victims. This case focuses primarily on the ethical considerations when working with this clinical population. This study also explains and discusses the various challenges that researchers face regarding the transference movements involved while conducting fieldwork research. The aim of this research within self-help groups was to assess the impact of these groups on the group members through three dimensions deeply affected by incest: the victim’s self-esteem level, feelings of loneliness, and resilience level. Nine members of an incest victims self-help group between the ages of 29 and 52 years old participated in our study. We used a pre- and post-test methodology to assess the three variables before the self-help group and after the self-help group. Second, we organized a phone research interview with each participant to collect information about their life story. Participants showed a higher level of self-esteem before the self-help group than after. Moreover, the participants’ loneliness feeling is markedly higher before the self-help group than. Lastly, no significant change is evident on resiliency scale’s scores. It is hoped that this case study will encourage the development of systematic thoughts about ethical considerations and professional positioning when conducting research on trauma victims.

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