Are we effectively integrating racial and ethnic diversity into our field?

Are we effectively integrating racial and ethnic diversity into our field?

Psychology of religion and spirituality research is lacking an important aspect of today’s society — racial and ethnic (RE) diversity. Ingrid Morales-Ramirez conducted a literature review for one of her recent projects on frequency of prayer, self-disclosure to God and religious service attendance and found literature on only three RE identities; African American, Latinx and European Americans (Chatters, Taylor, Bullard, & Jackson, 2009; Krause, 2012; Krause & Chatters, 2005; Vandecreek, Janus, Pennebaker & Binau, 2002; Wachholtz & Sambamoorthi, 2011; Winkeljohn Black, Pössel, Rosmarin, Tariq & Jeppsen, 2017). This is a start but lacks broader representation, which can lead to serious implications including: (a) lack of generalizability of our field’s current body of literature, (b) diverse RE groups perceiving that they are unimportant to the field and (c) missed opportunities in clinical practice.

Generalizability

Lacking diversity in participants causes a limitation to the generalizability of other RE identities. For example, in the literature a majority of the research consists of individuals that identify as European American and the research on diverse populations is limited to only two sets of minority groups. These results cannot be generalized to populations such as American Indian or Pacific Islander if only three identities are present. Without further research on how RE identities influence psychology of religion, researchers as well as individuals are unable to learn more about other cultures. This information is not only important in being culturally competent but also in making others feel like their RE identities matter in our society.

Full article at American Psychology Association