Purpose: To describe the challenges of using incentives for children in research. Organizing Framework: A discussion of incentives in the context of recruitment for research, including a review of the literature, a description of the types of incentives used with children and their families, factors influencing choice of incentives and ethical considerations. Recommendations to guide decisions about incentives are proposed. Conclusions: Since the 1997 mandate from the U.S. National Institutes of Health that investigators provide justification for excluding children, researchers have become more willing to include children. Whether all parts of the research process pertain to children without careful consideration and adaptation is unclear. One area lacking clarity is the use of incentives to encourage participation in research. The issue of incentives for children or parents should be considered early in the design of the research proposal, with attention to developmental age, ethical considerations, purpose of the research, and burden to the child and family.
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