We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Department of Sociology

Sociology Department Staff

Publication details for Dr Caitlin Nunn

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.

Author(s) from Durham


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.