Ethical Applications of Digital Community-Based Research With Black Immigrant and Refugee Youth and Families

H. R. Hodges, Sarah Gillespie, Fernanda Da Silva Cherubini, Salma A. Ibrahim, Hattie Gibson, Anisa M.Ali Daad, Susan Lycett Davis, Saida M. Abdi, Vanisa Senesathith, M. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The capacity to conduct psychology research online has expanded more quickly than have ethics guidelines for digital research. We argue that researchers must proactively plan ways to engage ethically in online psychological research with vulnerable groups, including marginalized and immigrant youth and families. To that end, this article describes the ethical use of internet and cell phone technologies in psychological research with Black immigrant and refugee youth and families, which demands efforts to both deepen and extend the Belmont principles of respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. We describe and apply four research frameworks—community-based participatory research, transdisciplinary team science, representational ethics, and cross-cultural psychology—that can be integrated to offer practical solutions to ethical challenges in digital research with Black immigrant and refugee youth and families. Then, as an illustration, we provide a case example of this approach using the Food, Culture, and Health Study conducted with Black Jamaican American and Somali American youth and families, who experience tridimensional acculturation due to their race and have been disproportionately impacted by the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism/Whiteness. We offer this article as a road map for other researchers seeking to conduct ethical digital community-based psychological research with Black immigrant youth and families and other marginalized communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-23
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Psychological Association


  • Black immigrant/refugee
  • community-based participatory research
  • digital/online research
  • research ethics
  • tridimensional acculturation

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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