Hidden populations: Uncovering the developmental experiences of minoritized populations across contexts

Dawn P. Witherspoon, Mayra Y. Bámaca-Colbert, Gabriela Livas Stein, Deborah Rivas-Drake

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This introduction to the special section on hidden populations across contexts in developmental science defines what is meant by "hidden populations" and summarizes the studies along thematic lines. Hidden populations are generally minoritized populations embedded in larger systems of oppression and inequality encapsulated within historical time and place, and importantly, they are underrepresented in developmental science. The set of 8 empirical articles discusses how being "hidden" is contextualized and operationalized through explicit and implicit ways and uses multiple methodologies to elucidate the experiences of children, youth, and families. The collection of articles is grounded in developmental and sociocultural developmental theories highlighting important cultural and contextual developmental mechanisms that impact and promote the well-being of hidden populations. Thematically, the set of articles, implicitly and explicitly, addresses minoritization and its consequences as well as elucidates resilience through multiple processes at different levels. Together, the special section advances developmental science by diversifying the populations that are represented to understand normative and culturally and contextually dependent development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1425-1430
Number of pages6
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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