With the potentially sensitive nature of qualitative family research, the process of these inquiries can come to resemble the therapeutic process. Therapy and research done by therapists and other family professionals share similar philosophical and structural qualities. Inherent in this is a structural power differential that opens the possibility for abuse of participants by researchers. Meara and Schmidt (1991) give four principles for guiding the treatment of qualitative research participants, however; they address only the relationship of researcher-participant and not the additional relationships that may arise from research. In this article, the author proposes some guidelines for relationships between the researcher and participant based on guidelines for therapists and their clients.

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