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05-01-2021 | Uitgave 1/2021

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology 1/2021

Intersectionality Research in Psychological Science: Resisting the Tendency to Disconnect, Dilute, and Depoliticize

Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 1/2021
NiCole T. Buchanan, Lauren O. Wiklund
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Psychological science has been slow to incorporate intersectionality as a concept and as a framework for conducting research. This limits not only the potential for intersectionality theory, but also limits the potential impact of the research claiming to use it. Mennies and colleagues conducted a study of psychopathology and treatment utilization using a large racially diverse sample of youth and frame their work as intersectional because they compare across three social categories (race, sex, and social class) and consider social issues that may impact the groups studied. We argue that while this represents a preliminary step, it does not represent intersectionality theory and praxis. In this article we review intersectional theory and praxis, examine psychological science and its resistance to fully incorporating intersectionality, and highlight how research must shift to be truly intersectional. Finally, we issue a call to the field to integrate intersectionality theory and praxis and to resist the tendency to dilute and depoliticize intersectionality theory and disconnect from its social justice frame.

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