Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


Behavioral Science



First Advisor

Kathleen Gorman


Over the past thirty years there has been a concerted effort to evaluate the inclusion of historically marginalized groups (HMG) – women, racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities, and low-income individuals – in research. This has been done through content analyses of research literature published in top-tier psychological journals. The purpose of this study was to examine the research literature to assess the degree to which the current literature includes ethnic, racial, and sexual minorities, women, and those of varying socioeconomic status and whether research questions focusing on historically marginalized groups are being examined within mainstream journals. Six issues from 2012 from five top-tier APA journals were content analyzed for inclusion of HMG and focus on HMG. Additionally, 148 authors who published articles in one of those journals were anonymously surveyed about the importance and relevance of HMG to their research, and the factors that influence their actual practices in conceptualizing, designing, and conducting research on HMG. A cumulative 10.65% of articles had a focus on HMG, while reporting of demographic characteristics differed greatly by journal and characteristic. Journal authors indicated gender was the most important (of race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or socioeconomic status) to answering their research questions, and were most likely to specifically target men or women when enrolling participants. Authors indicated many barriers to enrolling HMG in research. While considerable work is still to be done, the author survey indicated that many early career researchers are doing research focused on historically marginalized groups at least some of the time. Barriers ranging from funding, to publication biases, to difficulty in recruiting participants, were some of the various barriers that need to be addressed.



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