Child Development Special Section: Advancing Scholarship on Anti-racism within Developmental Science

The deadline to submit Letters of Intent for this special section has passed (December 21, 2020).

Child Development invites manuscripts for a Special Section on Advancing Scholarship on Anti-racism within Developmental Science. The Special Section Editors are Shauna M. Cooper (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Noelle Hurd (University of Virginia), and Aerika Brittian Loyd (University of California, Riverside).


About the Special Section

The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and many others, amidst a global health pandemic, brought about a renewed call to action directed toward anti-racist research, policy, and practice (see SRCD’s webinar on Becoming an Anti-racist Society). This call to action has long been supported by previous efforts in developmental science, such as Child Development’s historic 1990 special issue on Minority Children and the 2006 special issue on Race, Ethnicity, and Culture, which examined the ways that racism shapes the development of racially and ethnically diverse children. Foundational studies have demonstrated that racism operates across multiple systems and levels, including individual/interpersonal, institutional, and structural (Clark, Anderson, Clark, & Williams, 1999; Harrell, 2000; Jones, 2000). Further, research has continued to highlight how racism negatively affects children’s everyday experiences, health, and development (Benner et al., 2018; Causadias & Korous, 2019; Hughes et al., 2017; Trent, Dooley, & Dougé, 2019). This work also has identified critical processes through which racism operates to inform development, as well as protective factors that may offset its harmful effects (Tynes et al., 2020; Yip et al., 2019).

Contemporary perspectives acknowledge that a sole focus on the development and consequences of racism in children is insufficient and have called for increased attention to the empirical study of the development of anti-racism among all children (Neblett, 2019; Roberts & Rizzo, 2020; Seaton et al., 2018). Anti-racism is more than just the absence or opposite of racism. It includes developing an awareness and understanding of racism and the way it operates across multiple systems and levels, as well as recognizing and challenging racist beliefs (implicit and explicit). It also includes equitable decision-making processes and other daily actions aimed at interrupting racism (Kendi, 2019). The development of anti-racism in children can be supported within their families, schools, and communities, as well as via messages communicated and received through the news, media, and broader societal norms. However, additional research is needed to illuminate the processes that underlie how awareness and rejection of racism lead to sustained action in children and, ultimately, systemic change (Aldana, Bañales, & Richards-Schuster, 2019). Moreover, there is a need for scholarship that advances our understanding of how the development of anti-racism in children is supported in their multi-layered contexts (Hagerman, 2017; Loe, 2020; Loyd & Gaither, 2018).

Thus, Child Development invites manuscripts for a special section on Advancing Scholarship on Anti-racism within Developmental Science. We seek submissions that highlight innovative and high impact developmental science that will inform the development of anti-racism in children within and across contexts, and with attention to developmental stages. We are particularly interested in empirical studies (using data derived from qualitative, quantitative, and/or mixed methods) that include multiple levels of analysis and elucidate the roles of socialization, contexts, and policies in the development of anti-racism, including scholarship that examines the development of anti-racist attitudes, ideological perspectives, and behaviors. We especially welcome submissions that have the potential to inform policy, prevention, and intervention efforts and that are aligned with SRCD’s mission to advance interdisciplinarity, integrate diversity, and consider international perspectives.

Timeline and Detailed Submission Requirements

December 21, 2020 Authors who plan to submit a manuscript for the special section must submit a letter of intent (LOI) through the SRCD application site by Monday, December 21, 2020. The LOI MUST include:
  • a tentative title
  • an author list and contact details
  • a brief scientific case (approximately 1000 words) for consideration of the proposed submission
  • the proposed methods and initial findings
The LOI should also emphasize how the proposed manuscript will advance anti-racist scholarship in developmental science with particular attention to innovation and scientific rigor. The special section editors will review letters of intent for fit with the section and work to provide the broadest representation of high-quality papers.
February 1, 2021 Following a review of the LOIs, potential contributors will be contacted by February 1, 2021 and asked to submit a full manuscript. Submissions should not exceed 40 pages in length, inclusive of everything (body text, references, tables/figures, etc.). Extensive use of web supplements is also strongly encouraged. Please review the Child Development Submission Guidelines for additional requirements.

Please also include ‘AntiRacism:’ at the start of your paper title within the editorial system for processing purposes. (Note: the addition will not be included in publication.)
April 30, 2021 Invited manuscripts should be submitted through Child Development’s submission portal by April 30, 2021. Note: This is a different submission portal than was used for the LOI. All manuscripts will undergo Child Development’s rigorous peer review process.
June 15, 2021 Request for revisions will be sent back to authors by June 15, 2021.
August 1, 2021 Revised manuscripts should be submitted through Child Development’s submission portal.
September 15, 2021 A final decision will be rendered by September 15, 2021. Accepted manuscripts will be published online following receipt of required author paperwork and author proof-review.

IMPORTANT: All LOIs must be submitted through the SRCD Special Section Application Site. LOIs submitted by email or through the Child Development submission portal will not be considered for the collection.


If your question concerns the substance of submissions, please direct it to the Special Section editors: Shauna Cooper (, Noelle Hurd (, or Aerika Brittian Loyd (

If your question concerns the submission process, please contact SRCD’s Publications Manager at;

If your question concerns technical difficulties with the application portal, please contact

REMINDER: Do not submit LOIs by email to the Co-Editors or Publications Office or through the Child Development journal submission portal. LOIs must be submitted through the SRCD application site detailed above to be considered.



Aldana, A., Bañales, J., & Richards-Schuster, K. (2019). Youth anti-racist engagement: Conceptualization, development, and validation of an anti-racism action scale. Adolescent Research Review, 4, 369–381. doi:10.1007/s40894-019-00113-1

Benner, A. D., Wang, Y., Shen, Y., Boyle, A. E., Polk, R., & Cheng, Y. P. (2018). Racial/ethnic discrimination and well-being during adolescence: A meta-analytic review. American Psychologist, 73, 855–883. doi: 10.1037/amp0000204

Causadias, J. M. & Korous, K. M. (2019). Racial discrimination in the United States. A national health crisis that demands a national health solution. Journal of Adolescent Health, 64, 147–148. doi:10.1016/jjadohealth.2018.11.001

Clark, R., Anderson, N. B., Clark, V. R., & Williams, D. R. (1999). Racism as a stressor for African Americans: A biopsychosocial model. American Psychologist, 54, 805–816. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.10.805

Hagerman, M. A. (2017). White racial socialization: Progressive fathers on raising “antiracist” children. Journal of Marriage and Family, 79, 6074. doi:10.1111/jomf.12325

Harrell, S. P. (2000). A multidimensional conceptualization of racism‐related stress: Implications for the well‐being of people of color. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 70, 42–57. doi:10.1037/h0087722

Hughes, D., Harding, J. F., Niwa, E. Y., Del Toro, J., & Way, N. (2017). Racial socialization and racial discrimination as intra- and inter-group processes. In A. Rutland, D. Nesdale & C. S. Brown (Eds), The Wiley-Blackwell handbook of group processes in children adolescents. New York, NY: Wiley.

Jones, C. P. (2000). Levels of racism: A theoretic framework and a gardener's tale. American Journal of Public Health, 90, 1212–1215. doi:10.2105/ajph.90.8.1212

Kendi, I. (2019). How to be an antiracist. New York, NY: Random House Publishing Group.

Loe, I. M. (2020). Envisioning an inclusive, antiracist society: How do we raise America's children as the next generation of antiracists? Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 41, 417–419. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000845

Loyd, A. B., & Gaither, S. E. (2018). Racial/ethnic socialization for White youth: What we know and needed directions. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 59, 54–64. doi:10.1016/j.appdev.2018.05.004

Neblett, E. W. (2019). Diversity (psychological) science training: Challenges, tensions, and a call to action. Journal of Social Issues, 75, 1216–1239. doi:10.1111/josi.12357

Roberts, S. O., & Rizzo, M. T. (2020). The psychology of American racism. American Psychologist. Advance online publication. doi:10.1037/amp0000642

Seaton, E. K., Gee, G. C., Neblett, E., & Spanierman, L. (2018). New directions for racial discrimination research as inspired by the integrative model. American Psychologist, 73, 768–780. doi:10.1037/amp0000315

Trent, M., Dooley, D. G., & Dougé, J. (2019). The impact of racism on child and adolescent health. Pediatrics,144, e20191765. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-1765

Tynes, B. M., English, D., Del Toro, J., Smith, N. A., Lozada, F. T., & Williams, D. R. (2020). Trajectories of online racial discrimination and psychological functioning among African American and Latino adolescents. Child Development. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/cdev.13350

Yip, T., Wang, Y., Mootoo, C., & Mirpuri, S. (2019). Moderating the association between discrimination and adjustment: A meta-analysis of ethnic/racial identity. Developmental psychology, 55, 1274–1298. doi: 10.1037/dev0000708