Abstract | Abstract
User involvement in research has gained increased attention in recent decades. However, there is a lack of studies involving children as co-researchers, and particularly uncertainty regarding how to facilitate this type of collaboration. In this study, we explore children’s experiences of being part of a co-creation process in research in light of self-determination theory. By participating in a collaborative research project focusing on empowerment in educational support services, four girls aged 13–14 were interviewed about their experience as co-researchers. Using thematic analysis, three overarching elements were identified as significant in the co-creation process: (1) a sense of freedom to explore (autonomy); (2) a sense of significant contribution (competence); and (3) a safe social context (relatedness). These findings illuminate factors that promote children’s active participation in collaborative processes with adults. Potential challenges are also discussed.