Guest Editors Maryam Kia-Keating, PhD, and Linda Juang, PhD

An unprecedented number of migrants (over 68 million) have experienced forced migration, many of whom flee sociopolitical conditions and experiences of violence and persecution in their countries of origin. The UNHCR Global Trends Report for 2017 found that every two seconds someone experienced forced displacement. Once resettled, immigrants and refugees can face new challenges and stressors that significantly impact health and mental health outcomes, but there is also potential for new opportunities and environments to thrive. There is also some evidence suggesting an “immigrant paradox,” with certain health indicators among immigrants exceeding those of the native-born populations. Despite evidence for resilience, a deficit lens has perpetually been overemphasized in the literature. In order to challenge this limited scope, it is critically important to understand how collaborative and participatory research can help to enact youth, family and community engagement and empowerment among immigrant and refugee populations.

The aim of this special issue is to bring together a set of papers that contribute to our understanding of promotive and protective factors for positive immigrant and refugee youth development, family and community engagement, empowerment, health equity and social justice. Engagement can occur in a number of ways, including social and civic engagement, as well as engagement in programs supporting psychosocial well-being. Empowerment is likewise broadly defined and can include opportunities to collaboratively participate in research and action, such as in academic-community partnerships.

The special issue takes a global perspective, so country of residence is open. Areas that papers might emphasize include:

  • Interconnectedness between cultural-ecological systems and networks relevant for immigrant youth and families, such as links between family and school contexts, family and community, parent workplace and youth experiences;
  • An intersectional or  interdisciplinary perspective (e.g., education, public health, social work, nursing, medicine, sociology, communication, ethnic studies, etc.) with attention to the context of various systems of marginalization such as by gender, ethnicity or other minority status and the links between policy, equity and empowerment at micro- and macro-levels;
  • Methodologies that consider (or reconsider) issues of power, vulnerability and ethics;
  • Prevention and intervention studies incorporating collaborative partnerships and participatory action with immigrant and refugee youth, families and communities;
  • A meta-analysis or literature review on a key issue related to positive youth development, adjustment and resilience for these populations;
  • Hidden, marginalized, stigmatized or previously understudied immigrant and refugee populations (e.g., Middle Eastern, North African (MENA) or African heritage immigrant groups). 

Researchers interested in submitting an article to the special issue should submit a letter of intent to Maryam Kia-Keating and Linda Juang no later than Feb. 15, 2019. The letter of intent (one page, single space maximum) should include a title, authors and affiliations and description of proposed manuscript and how it would fit into the special issue. Only those letters of intent are deemed responsive to the call for this special issue will be invited to submit a manuscript. Note that LOIs that are not invited to submit full manuscripts are welcome to submit to Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology (CDEMP) through the regular submission protocol. If invited to submit a full manuscript, the submission due date is June 15, 2019. Invitations are not a guarantee of acceptance of manuscripts for review or publication; all manuscripts will undergo an external, blind peer review process. For further questions regarding this special issue please contact the guest editors.