The Developmental Dynamics of Emotional and Behavioral Difficulties of Youth of Color: Systemic Oppression, Correlated Constraints, and the Need for Targeted Universalism

Thomas W. Farmer, Zewelanji Serpell, La Ron A. Scott, Shana E. DeVlieger, Debbie S. Brooks, Jill V. Hamm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this introduction to the special series, we examine the emotional and behavioral difficulties of youth of color from a dynamic developmental, ecological systems perspective. Building on the concepts of the child-in-context, correlated constraints, systemic oppression, and the malleability of maladaptive patterns, we argue that current research approaches and intervention frameworks (e.g., Multitiered Systems of Support, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) are centered on the experiences and circumstances of youth from majority backgrounds. This creates a context in which the emotional and behavioral difficulties of youth of color reflect a continuum of services casualty in which routine daily supports, interventions, and services are not aligned with their developmental needs and their corresponding pathways to success. There is a need to establish a targeted-universalism approach in which interventions and supports are centered on the daily functioning and adaptation of underrepresented groups. We discuss how a tiered system of adaptive supports may be designed and implemented to address this need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-85
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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