Gavazzi, S. M. (2022). Emerging Ideas: The near invisibility of Native Americans and their families within the flagship journals of family science. Family Relations.

Objective: To assess the family science literature’s focus on NativeAmericans and their families through articles published in the flagshipjournals of the National Council on Family Relations. Background:Historically, Native Americans and their families have been underrepresentedin the social sciences literature. Scholars have attributed this nearinvisibility to shifting census categories, underrepresentation in samples,and residence in more rural geographic areas. Combined with elements ofsystematic and structural racism and other forms of oppression, the continuedrepresentation of Native American populations as an “asterisk” in scholarshipcontributes to their ongoing marginalization as a people. Method: Aliterature search of all published issues of the three flagship journalspublished by the National Council on Family Relations—Journal of Marriage andthe Family, Family Relations, and Journal of Family Theory and Review—wasconducted using the terms “Native American,” “American Indian,” and“Indigenous.” Articles identified using those search terms subsequently wereplaced into three categories: (a) articles that focused specifically onNative Americans, (b) articles that included Native Americans in asubstantive but not exclusive manner, and (c) articles that mentioned NativeAmericans only as part of the demographics of a study or cited otherliterature in the reference section. Results: Of more than 10,000 scholarlyworks published in the three flagship journals by the end of 2020, only 28total articles (one third of 1%) included any mention of American Indians,Native Americans, or Indigenous Peoples. Of these identified publications,six articles were classified as scholarly works that focused specifically onNative Americans and their families, five articles that included substantivebut not exclusive mention of Native American issues, and an additional 17articles made some more minor mention of Native Americans in the body of thetext or reference section. Conclusion: Family science theorists, researchers,and practitioners must redouble their efforts to focus on the lives andexperiences of Native Americans and their families. Similarly, the editorsand editorial boards of NCFR’s flagship journals should create publicationopportunities that underscore the notion that Native Americans and theirfamilies do matter. Implications: These findings have implications for familyscholars who are committed generally to diversity and inclusion in theirwork, as well as anyone working with Native Americans and their families morespecifically.