Call for Abstracts: Clinical Psychological Science Special Issue on Understanding Ethnoracial Disparities and Advancing Mental Health Equity through Clinical Psychological Science

Co-Editors: Priscilla Lui, Southern Methodist University; Juliette McClendon, National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, and Boston University School of Medicine; Craig Rodriguez-Seijas, University of Michigan

People of Color (POC) remain underrepresented in clinical psychological research and underserved in mental health treatment. Mental health and health care disparities that adversely impact POC not only result in negative societal and economic consequences but also highlight persistent injustices. Clinical psychological research has tended to focus primarily on individual-level factors that contribute to psychopathology and treatment outcomes, while largely neglecting sociocultural and environmental-contextual factors (e.g., racism, acculturation, cultural norms) that may uniquely impact the prevention, development, maintenance, and treatment of psychopathology among POC. Additionally, clinical psychological research rarely has employed an intersectional framework to understand the impact of multiple forms of marginalization on mental health and treatment outcomes. In this Special Issue, we seek papers that will showcase innovative clinical psychological research that characterizes psychopathology among POC, elucidates determinants of ethnoracial mental health disparities, or informs culturally responsive prevention and treatment.

We envision the Special Issue to highlight the ways in which culture, identity, and oppression impact mental health, use and delivery of mental health care, and research participation among POC. Topics in which we are particularly interested include: 

  • Experiences of psychopathology (e.g., symptomatology, conceptualization of illness, approaches to healing) among communities of Color and how they may impact assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Use of a socioecological framework to answer questions about psychopathology and the use of mental health care among POC, and/or ethnoracial disparities in these outcomes.
  • Sociocultural factors (e.g., racial socialization, spirituality) and experiences of oppression (e.g., discrimination, racism) that may affect psychopathology among POC.
  • The impact of structural and institutional oppression and/or sociocultural factors (e.g., racial socialization, spirituality) on psychopathology, mental health care use, service delivery, and research participation among POC. 
  • Research on culturally responsive and community-engaged interventions that address psychopathology and/or context-related stress (e.g., racial stress and trauma) among POC.
  • Critical examinations of how clinical psychological science can better integrate ethnoracial diversity into research studies. 
  • Papers that address the crosstalk between mainstream open science approaches and mental health equity research in clinical psychological science.

POC may include but are not limited to Black or African American; Asian or Asian American; Hispanic or Latino/a/x; Native American, Alaska Native or Indigenous; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; Arab, Middle Eastern or North African; and multi-racial/ethnic individuals. Articles that can speak to an international audience are encouraged. We welcome research manuscripts that apply cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary methods (e.g., qualitative and mixed methods, machine learning/big data). We also are interested in studies that use approaches that are particularly relevant to engaging and understanding communities of Color, such as community-based participatory/community-engaged research, intersectional theory, critical race theory, and socioecological models. Because we believe that transparent and reproducible research can make broader impact on addressing health disparities and advancing mental health equity, we also encourage research that uses some open science practices.

Submissions from researchers of Color and/or early career researchers are particularly encouraged. 

Please submit an abstract (500 words max) that summarizes the proposed manuscript to the Guest Editors at cps@psychologicalscience.org. For full consideration, please submit abstracts by April 15, 2021. Abstracts that summarize the manuscript’s significance to advancing mental health equity, methods, and (completed, preliminary or expected) results will be most competitive. Abstracts that meet the aims of CPS and the Special Issue will be invited before May 15, 2021 to submit full manuscripts for further consideration. Full manuscripts should be submitted to Clinical Psychological Science via the journal portal by November 1, 2021. We encourage contributing authors to post submitted versions of their articles to Advance, Sage’s preprint server. We also encourage authors to make their research materials and data available on the Open Science Framework or other (restricted) accessible repositories. Please email the Guest Editors at cps@psychologicalscience.org about the scope of the Special Issue.