Reframing Marginalization and Youth Development: Introduction to the Special Issue

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Abstract

The field of developmental science was revolutionized, in part, by the publication of García Coll and colleagues’ (1996) integrative model for the study of developmental competencies in minority children. Nevertheless, much work remains as changes within and beyond academia will require greater innovation in the way marginalization is conceptualized and studied. In this introduction to the Special Issue, “New Directions in Developmental Science with Youth Experiencing Marginalization,” we situate the contribution of the integrative model within a sociohistorical context and discuss how recent changes push us to reconsider the models and theories that guide existing work with youth who experience marginalization. We also introduce a nuanced definition of the term marginalization for the field to consider in relation to research on youth development. We define marginalization as a multidimensional, dynamic, context-dependent, and diverse web of processes, rooted in power imbalance and systematically directed toward specific groups and individuals, with probabilistic implications for development. In the context of this discussion, we also highlight the important insights gleaned from the collection of articles included in this Special Issue and how they advance the field.

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