Even though much attention has been paid to various ethnic minority groups in the psychology literature, AMENA individuals remain relatively invisible due to the scarcity of research on the wellbeing of Arab Americans (Amer, 2012). The juxtaposition of lack of knowledge against mounting media visibility has not only led to AMENA person to be viewed with skepticism (Said, 2004), but has led them to continue being among the most misunderstood ethnic groups in the US (Erickson and Al-Timimi, 2001). Evidently, this misrepresentation not only affects the mental wellbeing of persons of Middle Eastern and Arab descent, but also influences the biases and assumptions of mental health professionals that may serve them. For that reason, additional research, which attempts to focus specifically on the experiences of AMENA persons by creating a platform on which these experiences can be shared, is indispensable.
The good news, however, is that the research on MENA American psychology has grown within the past few decades. Amer and Awad (2016) conducted a PsycINFO search for research articles that contained the word Arab (Middle Eastern, all 22 specific sub-populations) and American in the title. They found 0 to 3 publications annually up until the year 2001. After 2001, the amount of research on MENA Americans grew with a range of 13-23 articles published annually. This is a significant increase in publications and we hope to continue to increase the amount of research. Additionally, there are several unpublished studies on MENA Americans (e.g., theses, dissertations, etc) that we would like to see published in the future.
The primary goals of this Research Section are to promote an organized and coordinated effort to produce quality and culturally sensitive research on MENA Americans. The specific objectives for this section are to:
1. Increase the amount and quality of published research on MENA American populations in scholarly journals.
2. Disseminate and encourage the exchange of timely research findings.
3. Increase the number of scholarly presentations on MENA Americans at national, state and local conferences.
4. Raise awareness about current research in the field of MENA American Psychology.
5. Facilitate financial support for scholarship on MENA American Psychology.
6. Develop an organized and coordinated effort among researchers in this area to address the most pressing issues within
7. Connect researchers interested in MENA American Psychology so that they can develop successful research
8. Advocate for grants and research funding on MENA American Psychology.