Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology call for proposals

Sep 21, 2016

Call for Proposals
Special Issue of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology
Understanding, unpacking and eliminating health disparities: A prescription for health equity promotion through behavioral and psychological research

This call for manuscript proposals focuses on research that can contribute to a better understanding of health disparities among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States (US) and how to achieve health equity for all people in the US.  Manuscripts included in this special issue will provide greater clarity about how health disparities should be defined and how best to study and understand health disparities with the goal of reducing or eliminating health disparities to create health equity.  The manuscripts will focus on the challenge of reducing or eliminating health disparities by investigating behavioral and psychological issues/factors related to health disparities and health equity. In addition, methodological manuscripts will examine how our conceptualizations and methods used to examine health disparities have helped or hindered our efforts to reduce or eliminate health disparities.
Healthy People 2020 has identified eliminating health disparities as a major goal for improving the nation’s health. Funding has increased for research that addresses health disparities.  The body of research on health disparities is rapidly growing. As the scope of this research grows, how best to conceptually frame and study health disparities is also evolving and needs be examined.  Much of the research seems very similar to race comparative research that has been widely criticized as a conceptual and empirical approach that is not valid or reliable for understanding the behavior of racial and ethnic minority people. Race comparative research allows for the examination of differences between groups but this approach does not address the underlying processes that contribute to racial and ethnic differences in health. The same behaviors may not equate to the same risks or risk reduction for different groups. For example, HIV/AIDS research has documented that African American youth use condoms more than their European American counterparts but these young people still have one of the highest rates of infection. Nor does a race comparative approach fully identify structural factors within racial and ethnic minority communities that contribute to or deter heath disparities. Greater understanding of these processes and structural factors is needed to identify and implement efficacious and effective interventions to deter health disparities and increase health equity.
Moreover, even with increased interest in and funds for studies on health disparities, health disparities are not being substantially reduced or eliminated. This dilemma raises an important question:  Is the best research that can be conducted on health disparities reflected in the current body of research in this area?  The special issue will address the challenges to producing work that can be translated into action. The special issue will be a collection of manuscripts that provide better conceptual and methodological approaches to how health disparities are defined and operationalized in empirical studies and how best to study health disparities to achieve health equity, moving beyond race comparative designs to include structural and cultural factors and innovative methods. We are especially interested in health disparities in and risk factors for the development of physical and behavioral health problems, and factors that promote strength and resilience to deter health disparities. These factors can be multi-level risks and protectors at both the individual and structural level (e.g., an ecological model (Bronfenbrenner, 1994).  Some may be malleable and the conditions under which they are malleable can be examined as well as the mechanisms by which these factors can lead to changes in health. Examples of health disparities include but are not limited to: HIV/AIDS, obesity, hypertension, trauma, suicide, stress, unhealthy behaviors, substance abuse and violence. Manuscripts that focus on risk factors must consider them within the broader context of health disparities and health equity, rather than focusing on "deficits" among minority groups.
If you are interested in submitting a manuscript, please first send letters of intent by December 1, 2016. Letters of intent should have fewer than 350 words, and should briefly specify the research question(s), sample characteristics and procedure, and methods. Importantly, letters of intent should address how the manuscript will address an area of health disparity, or risk for the development of a health disparity, and the methods to probe them.  Invitations to submit a letter of intent are not a guarantee of acceptance of manuscripts for review or publication.  Questions regarding letters of intent or submissions should be directed to Drs. Norweeta Milburn (, Lula Beatty (, or Tiffany Yip (  Authors will receive a response to their letters of intent by March 1, 2017. Only those authors whose letters of intent are deemed responsive to the call for this special issue will be invited to submit a manuscript by October 1, 2017 Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the Manuscript Submission Portal. The link for the Portal can be found on the journal website. All submitted manuscripts will be initially screened by the guest editors and then sent out for blind peer review.  Note that LOIs that are not invited to submit full manuscripts are welcome to submit to CDEMP through the regular submission protocol. 
The publication target date is Spring 2019.
Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994).  Ecological models of human development. In International Encyclopedia of Education, 3(2). Oxford: Elsevier.

Reprinted in: Gauvain, M. & Cole, M. (Eds.) Readings on the development of children, 2nd Ed. (1993, pp. 37 – 43). New York: Freeman.

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