ArticleGetting Critical With Children Empowering Approaches With a Disempowered GroupBerman, Helene RN, PhDAuthor Information School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario and the Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, London, Ontario, Canada. Corresponding author: Helene Berman, RN, PhD, School of Nursing, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C1 (e-mail: [email protected]). Ideas for this paper are derived from research that I have been conducting with many colleagues over the past 7 years, funded by Status of Women Canada, the Canadian Nurses' Foundation, and the Ontario Ministry of Health, as well as from the children with whom I live and work. Advances in Nursing Science: April 2003 - Volume 26 - Issue 2 - p 102-113 Buy Abstract The study of children and childhood has historically been accorded a marginal place in the health, human, and social sciences. In part, this is due to prevailing Western ideology that constructs children as passive, presocial, innocent, and vulnerable. The dominant discourse is further characterized by the treatment of children as a homogeneous group, devoid of race, class, or gender. While many investigators have described strategies for the conduct of research that is situated in the interpretive paradigm, there has been no comparable articulation of ideas regarding the conduct of critically grounded research when our participants are children. The purpose of this article is to put forth a historical and contextual analysis of childhood, including a discussion of evolving perspectives about childhood. The manner by which changing social, political, and environmental landscapes have contributed to the marginalization and disenfranchisement of children is examined. Finally, strategies for conducting nursing research that is grounded in the critical paradigmatic perspective, with the simultaneous aims of action, change, and empowerment, are proposed. © 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.