Just before he was named editor of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Art Nezu, PhD, looked at the ethnic and cultural diversity of participant populations represented in the journal, which publishes research on the efficacy of psychosocial interventions among various clinical populations. In reviewing the issues from 2006 to 2008, he found some disappointing numbers: Of 328 articles, less than 4 percent focused on diverse populations.
Given that the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that ethnic minorities will make up a majority of the nation's population by 2042, that needs to change, Nezu says. By the time he's finished his six-year term as editor, Nezu hopes to have at least one-quarter of the articles directly address various forms of diversity, including ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and religious identification.
"It is imperative to try to increase the amount of research that provides needed information both to researchers and practitioners on the widest possible range of individuals suffering from some form of psychological or emotional disorder," says Nezu, a professor of psychology, medicine and community health and prevention at Drexel University and a licensed psychologist.
When he begins his term in January, he says he'll work to boost diversity by reaching out to diversity researchers, APA divisions and other associations concerned with ethnic, gender and sexual minority issues.
His goals as editor also include:
• Mentoring junior researchers. Nezu hopes to use the manuscript-review process as a training tool by asking each reviewer to consider recruiting a junior colleague or graduate student to co-author reviews.
• Broadening the journal's reach. Nezu wants to disseminate the journal's key findings more widely to the general public in a user-friendly manner. One possibility: asking authors to write a layperson's abstract on their articles to post on a Web site for professionals and the public.
• Bridging the research-practice gap. Nezu wants to feature more effectiveness studies that demonstrate how interventions tested in randomized controlled trials can be applied in real-life settings, such as schools, hospitals and other community settings.