Advancing research on adolescence in the Majority World: Challenges and recommendations

For over two decades, psychological science has recognized its narrow focus on White, Middle-class populations residing in the Global North or the Minority World (North America, Europe, and Oceania) with journal analyses documenting substantial underrepresentation of communities from regions where the majority of the world’s population resides (Africa, Asia, Latin America). Although subfields of psychology including developmental science have made progress, statistics regarding representation of Majority World authors and samples in English-language peer-reviewed journals have not considerably changed. Anecdotally, researchers who engage in research with Majority World populations have reported numerous barriers to conducting their research and publishing in English-language peer-reviewed journals, though no systematic efforts have explored these challenges. Members of the International Committee of Society for Research on Adolescence initiated a survey of social science researchers who engage in research with Majority World populations, and identified several key challenges. In this roundtable discussion, we will discuss the challenges and recommendations to promote a global and diverse developmental science. We will share our findings and invite a conversation with the audience on ways to center Majority World perspectives, enable research with Majority World communities and its dissemination, and support Majority World scholars

 

Vaishali V. Raval, PhD

Chair, SRA International Committee
Professor of Psychology
Affiliate, Global and Intercultural Studies
Miami University
[email protected]

Dr. Vaishali Raval is professor of psychology and affiliate of global and intercultural studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, USA where she has been a faculty member for 16 years. Dr. Raval is committed to promoting inclusivity and addressing the historic underrepresentation and exclusion of marginalized communities in clinical developmental science. Her primary program of research focuses on cultural and contextual foundations of parenting, with a focus on emotion processes and how they relate to child and adolescent mental health outcomes among culturally diverse communities. In a related research trajectory, she explores contextual understanding of adolescent psychopathology, working to develop culturally informed mental health training and intervention approaches. A third line of research focuses on marginalization, racial ethnic socialization processes, and youth mental health among racially and ethnically minoritized communities in the USA. Her work has been recognized with the American Psychological Association (Division 52) Henry David International Psychology Mentoring Award, and Excellence in Internationalization Award from Christ University, Bengaluru, India. Along with her research, she has engaged in and led several initiatives towards promoting global representation in psychological science through service to professional organizations (chair of the International Committee of SRA, co-chair of International Affairs Committee of SRCD, a member of the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science or USNC/IUPsyS) and editorial responsibilities (as associate editor of Journal of Research on Adolescence and Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology).

 

  1. Philip Baiden, PhD, Panelist

The University of Texas at Arlington, USA
Associate Professor of Social Work
[email protected]

Dr. Philip Baiden is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Baiden received his Ph.D. in Social Work from the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto, a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and a Bachelor of Arts degree (First Class Honors) in Sociology and Philosophy from the University of Ghana, Legon. During his Ph.D. program, Dr. Baiden was awarded the prestigious Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship-Doctoral (CGS-D) by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada for his research studying the role of adverse childhood experiences as determinants of suicidal behaviors among children and adolescents involved in the child welfare system in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Baiden’s research interests focus on social determinants of health, adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), prevention of suicidal thoughts and behaviors, adolescent health risk behaviors, substance use and mental health outcomes, and vulnerable populations.

As a committed collaborator, Dr. Baiden has strong skills in working with large secondary datasets, designing and conducting rigorous intervention research, and evaluating the impact of social intervention programs that seek to enhance the well-being of children and adolescents. This is best demonstrated by his research awards and publication record. Dr. Baiden has authored and co-authored several peer-reviewed publications appearing in high-ranking academic journals and has presented his work at several national and international academic conferences. Some of his work has been featured in major news outlets in Canada, including La Presse, U of T News, The Varsity; and in the US including, EurekAlert!, Medical News Today, Science Daily, HealthDay, PsychCentral, University Herald, and Gazette Review.

 

Graciela Espinosa-Hernández, PhD, Panelist 

Professor
Department of Psychology
University of North Carolina Wilmington, USA
[email protected]

Dr. Graciela Espinosa-Hernández is a Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her research focuses on understanding sociocultural (e.g., cultural values, religion) and family factors (e.g., parenting) associated with sexuality, alcohol use, and well-being in Latine adolescents and emerging adults.

 

Avneet Batra, Panelist

Doctoral Student, Developmental Psychology
Western Virginia University, USA
[email protected]

I am a third-year graduate student from West Virginia University. Currently, I am pursuing my Ph.D. in Life-Span Developmental Psychology. My research interests primarily focus on understanding parent-child relations, and the impact of parenting on various child and adolescent developmental outcomes. I have been an active member of SRA’s International Committee for about two years.

 

Lucía Magis-Weinberg, M.D., PhD, Panelist

Assistant Professor, Psychology
University of Washington, USA
[email protected]

I lead the interACTlab (International Adolescent Connection and Technology Laboratory). Our research focuses on how the social and affective developmental tasks of adolescence have been transformed by the digital era—particularly in understudied populations in international settings.

We collaborate with schools in Latin America to advance knowledge on adolescent development and technology use, and also apply developmental science to design school-based interventions to promote digital citizenship and healthy digital habits. This research-practitioner partnership allows us to better expand our understanding of, and respond to the needs of, young people in these key formational years in an increasingly digitalized world.

My long-term goal is to leverage my background in developmental psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and cross-cultural contexts to advance our understanding of how adolescent development is shaped by the risks and opportunities afforded by digital technologies.

 

 

Chidozie Nwafor, PhD, Panelist


Associate Professor of Developmental Psychology
Department of Psychology
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria
[email protected]

 

Dr. Chidozie Edwin Nwafor is an associate professor of developmental psychology at the Department of Psychology Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. He specialized in lifespan development, however he focused on child and adolescent development. My research interest include prosocial behaviour, Bullying, aggression, academic interest, family environment, intellectual and developmental disability and resilience. I have also served as the Deputy Director of Centre for Migration Studies Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka(CMS-NAU).

 

Shanu Shukla, PhD, Panelist

Interdisciplinary Research Team on Internet and Society
Masaryk University, Czech Republic
[email protected]
 

Dr. Shanu Shukla (she/her/hers) is an enthusiastic researcher with a primary focus on media psychology and cyberstudies. Her research endeavors revolve around understanding the impact of digital technology on human behavior, mental health, and well-being, particularly among adolescents and emerging adults.Besides, Dr. Shukla actively engages in cross-cultural projects related to COVID-19. She is committed to mentoring and collaborating with researchers globally, contributing to advancing knowledge in her field.

Currently, Dr. Shukla holds a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action Fellowship, where she leads a project investigating the effects of media multitasking on online social behavior. Additionally, she has been recognized with a SRA COVID-19 Global Scholar Fellowship and a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship during her doctoral studies.


Yao Zheng, PhD, Panelist

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts, Psychology Department
University of Alberta, Canada
[email protected]

I am an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Arts Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta in the Developmental Science area. I was previously a Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University and University of Quebec at Montreal. I received my Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, as well as a M.A.S. in Applied Statistics, from the Pennsylvania State University. I received my B.S. in Psychology from Yuan Pei Honors College, Peking University.

As a lifespan researcher taking a developmental psychopathology perspective, I conduct research on the influences of family and peer processes that shape different developmental trajectories of problem behaviors using innovative quantitative methodology at multiple levels of analysis (e.g., genetic, behavioral) and time scales (e.g., days, years) in various ecological contexts (e.g., school, neighborhood, culture). My research focuses on four interrelated themes: 1) family and peer processes that shape different developmental trajectories of problem behavior using mixture modeling; 2) genetic and environmental interplay in the development of problem behavior using quantitative genetic modeling; 3) intra-individual developmental processes at a micro level using intensive longitudinal data with time series analysis; and 4) evaluation of preventative interventions using dynamical system analysis and longitudinal growth curve modeling. I am particularly interested in how children and adolescents from at-risk or ethnic/racial minority populations can prosper and show resilience despite adverse experiences. I am also interested in child and adolescent development from the Majority World.

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