Ethnic minority and economically disadvantaged populations have been historically underrepresented in social science research, and despite improvements in recent years, this trend continues today. Given the rapidly changing demographics of the United States, there is an acute need for more targeted research on these populations, which requires an understanding of diversity and a more nuanced understanding of human behavior and outcomes. Unfortunately, there is a relative dearth of information in standard research texts regarding the unique methodological challenges associated with conducting research with these populations.

George P. Knight, Mark W. Roosa, and Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor have filled that gap with a book that identifies strategies for overcoming the obstacles social scientists routinely face in these situations.

In this volume, the authors:

  • Discuss strategies for resolving typical problems in sampling, recruitment and retention;

  • Address ethical issues associated with researching these populations;

  • Examine issues associated with measurement and the importance of measurement equivalence;

  • Describe potential linguistic problems with translated measures and provide solutions to maintain the credibility of scientific inferences based on those measures, and;

  • Present strategies for adapting previously published preventive interventions for use with ethnic minority and low-income populations.

Throughout, the authors combine firsthand experience with a thorough and incisive understanding of the literature. The result is a vital, comprehensive resource that will be a great help for students and experienced researchers alike.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction to Studying Ethnic Minority and Economically Disadvantaged Populations
  2. Sampling, Recruiting, and Retaining Diverse Samples
  3. Ethical Issues
  4. Measurement and Measurement Equivalence Issues
  5. Translation Processes Associated With Measurement in Linguistically Diverse Populations
  6. Putting Research Into Action: Preventive Intervention Research




About the Authors

Author Bios

George P. Knight, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Arizona State University, Tempe. He received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a master's and doctorate degrees from the University of California at Riverside.

His research interests have focused on the role of culture in prosocial development, acculturation and enculturation processes, the development of ethnic identity, and measurement equivalence in cross-ethnic and developmental research. He is currently involved in three research programs involving ethnic minority adolescents.

Dr. Knight has served as an editorial board member for Child Development, Journal of Research on Adolescence, Journal of Family Psychology®, Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Review of Personality and Social Psychology (Vol. 15). He has published widely in developmental, cultural, and social journals.

Mark W. Roosa, PhD, is a professor of social and family dynamics at Arizona State University, Tempe. He received his bachelor's degree from Ohio State University, Columbus, and his master's and doctorate degrees from Michigan State University, Ann Arbor.

His career research interest has been the development of children from low-income families, especially the etiological processes that place these children at risk and those that protect them from risk. He is particularly interested in the additive and interactive roles of culture (e.g., parent and child levels of enculturation and acculturation) and context (family, community, and school) in influencing child outcomes in Mexican immigrant and Mexican American families. He is currently conducting a longitudinal, generative research study examining these cultural and contextual processes in a sample of 750 Mexican and Mexican American families with children who were in fifth grade when the study began.

Dr. Roosa has published widely in family, community psychology, and developmental journals.

Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor, PhD, is an associate professor of family and human development at Arizona State University, Tempe, in the School of Social and Family Dynamics. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in child development and family relationships, both from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her PhD in human development and family studies from the University of Missouri—Columbia.

Her research has included adolescents from a variety of ethnic groups in the United States, with most of her work focused on Latino adolescents and their families and, more specifically, on ethnic identity formation, familial socialization processes, culturally informed risk and protective factors, and psychosocial functioning.

Her work has been published widely in developmental, family, and cultural journals. Dr. Umaña-Taylor currently serves on the editorial boards of Child Development, Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, Journal of Early Adolescence, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships.