Important Dates

  • December 1, 2016: 500-word abstracts must be submitted to receive preliminary feedback for manuscripts to be considered for review
  • January 15, 2017: potential authors notified whether their full paper would be considered for review
  • May 1, 2017: submission deadline
  • August 1, 2017: first round decision letters
  • November 15, 2017: revisions due
  • February 1, 2018: final decisions


  • Editor: Martin D. Ruck, PhD
  • Guest Editors: Rashmita S. Mistry, PhD and Constance A. Flanagan, PhD


Developmental Psychology invites manuscripts for a special issue on children’s and adolescents’ reasoning about and experiences of economic inequality.

The heightened state of economic inequality that currently characterizes many countries around the world is one of the most pressing social issues of the day, with far-reaching consequences for child and adolescent development.

Despite the intensity of the public and scientific discourse on this topic, less scientific attention has been paid to children’s and adolescents’ understanding and experiences of inequality, including perceptions of their own and others’ social status and economic and sociopolitical contexts, or beliefs about what it means to be successful and get ahead in the world, economic mobility, redistributive justice and fairness, and societal and individual responsibility to help those in need.

Three broad goals are outlined for this special issue:

  • Advance the theoretical and empirical knowledge base on children’s and adolescents’ reasoning about the causes and consequences of societal economic inequality. We seek to address questions of when and how children’s and adolescents’ beliefs about economic inequality, social stratification, economic mobility, redistributive justice and fairness and the social contract develop.
  • Expand understanding of the processes by which inequality affects children’s and adolescents’ developmental outcomes. We invite studies that examine how children and adolescents interpret their economic and sociopolitical contexts, and the implications of these insights for their well-being. We are especially interested in work that focuses on children and adolescents as active agents and constructors of their social worlds as those worlds are shaped by inequality.
  • Integrate scholarship on economic inequality with practice and policy implications. Here we seek to address how scientific knowledge about children’s and adolescents’ reasoning about and experiences of economic inequality can better inform educational practice and policies aimed at ensuring the health and well-being of children and adolescents.

Collectively, we solicit both full-length empirical articles and brief research reports that will contribute to our understanding of child development in an era of heightened economic inequality.

We encourage innovative methodological (e.g., experimental, longitudinal, qualitative, mixed methods) and intersectional approaches, and studies that include participants from diverse backgrounds.

We also strongly encourage submissions from outside of the U.S. as well as those employing international samples.

Abstracts will be initially screened by the editors. Authors of submitted abstracts determined to be a potential fit with the theme of the special issue will be invited to submit a paper by the above specified date.

Submitted papers will be reviewed by the editors and reviewers, as per the journal’s regular blind peer review process. Thus, an invitation to submit a full paper is not a guarantee of acceptance.

Manuscripts should be prepared in accordance with APA publication guidelines as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) and submitted through the journal’s submission portal.

Please note in your cover letter that you are submitting for the special issue on economic inequality.

Please review the guidelines in the Developmental Psychology manuscript submission section for information about how to prepare an article.

Inquiries regarding the topic or scope for the special issue can be sent to Martin D. Ruck, Rashmita S. Misty or Constance A. Flanagan.

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