News and Activities


Drs. Crockett and Carlo recently signed a contract to co-edit a new book tentatively titled “Rural Ethnic Minority Youth and Families in the United States: Theory, Research, and Applications.” 

Despite the sizable numbers of ethnic minority families living in rural communities and the unique challenges they face, there are no books that focus on understanding rural ethnic minority children, youth, and families in the U.S.  The purpose of the book is to integrate what is known about rural ethnic minority youth and families and to identify strategies for learning more about them and for designing intervention programs to support their health and well-being. 

This book will examine the implications of ethnic minority status and rural residence for adolescents and families in the U.S. and discuss the challenges they face as well as sources of resilience.  It will also describe the challenges of conducting research with these populations along with possible solutions.  Beginning with an overview of the unique circumstances of minority youth residing in rural areas, the book discusses theoretical perspectives that incorporate the influences of minority status, such as acculturation and discrimination, and rural location and lays out likely consequences for young people coming of age in this context.  This is followed by a description of research findings regarding the development and adjustment of rural youth from particular ethnic groups, with attention to the critical role of family and community contexts.  In addition, the book provides examples of interventions designed to enhance the well-being of rural minority youth and their families, barriers to conducting research with these populations, and cutting edge methodological approaches. The volume concludes with a discussion of common challenges, influences, and outcomes for rural minority youth, influences unique to each ethnic group, and recommendations for reducing the barriers to healthy development.

The idea for this volume grew out of a roundtable discussion at SRCD, and those panelists, Velma McBride Murry, Marcela Raffaelli, , and Lynne Vernon-Feagans, have already agreed to contribute chapters.  In addition, Cynthia Garcia Coll, Kathi and Rand Conger, Carol Markstrom, Jill Hamm, Lisa Knoche and several others have expressed a willingness to contribute. The book is scheduled to be published in 2015. 


As a result result of the Latino Youth Care Project, a roundtable discussion was held at the Society for Reseach on Child Development conference in 2013.  Drs. Crockett and Carlo moderated the discussion and included researchers from other universities who are also conducting research with a rural ethnic minority population.  Here is the abstract for the roundtable:

The shifting demographic profile of the United States and a growing recognition of the developmental implications of race, ethnicity, social class, and historical experiences have led to increased interest in studies of children from diverse ethnic backgrounds.  Most research on ethnic minorities has been conducted in metropolitan areas; however, nearly 20% of the U.S. population, including a large number from particular ethnic/racial groups, lives in rural areas.  Living in rural settings brings distinct challenges associated with geographic isolation, low-wage jobs, out-migration, limited access to services, and growing poverty.   These challenges interact with challenges associated with ethnic minority status (e.g., acculturation, discrimination), resulting in potentially unique profiles of physical, psychosocial, and educational risk for rural, ethnic minority children and youth.  The intersection of rural and ethnic minority status also creates unique challenges for researchers seeking to conduct developmental research to improve our understanding of these children. This roundtable discussion brings together leading researchers conducting research on rural African American children and families, Latino youth, and American Indian adolescents.  Each of these groups has unique cultural and historical influences that affect their adaptation within rural areas.  Our goals are to share information about the specific challenges to conducting research on rural ethnic minority populations, to identify some possible practical solutions, and to stimulate further research with these populations.  Attention to multiple ethnic groups will create an opportunity to illuminate issues that are common in such research as well as challenges unique to research on specific ethnic groups.  Moderators: Lisa Crockett, Gustavo Carlo