Call for Papers: Special Issue on Psychology of Well-being in the Margins: South Asian and Southeast Asian Research

Guest Editors:
Allan B. I. Bernardo, Distinguished University Professor, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines; Email:

Niño Jose Mateo, Associate Professor, De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines; Email:

Research on the psychology of well-being has grown at an incredible rate in the past three decades, but much of the research has focused on samples from WEIRD (western, educated, industrialized, rich, and developed) countries. For example, a recent bibliometric study found that nearly 80% of published studies on positive psychology interventions were conducted in WEIRD countries. Fortunately, the same study observed a steady increase of such research from non-WEIRD countries; however, individuals who experience specific social vulnerabilities and those who experience unique and/or intersecting multiple sources of disadvantage are still underrepresented in the research literature on the psychology of well-being. This bias in the literature raises questions about whether psychological theories and principles of well-being fully represent the range of diverse of human experiences.

To address the concern, Psychological Studies invites papers for a Special Issue on “Psychology of Well-being in the Margins: South Asian and Southeast Asian Research." The journal invites empirical papers that focus on psychological well-being of individuals and groups who experience vulnerabilities and social disadvantage in countries within South Asia and Southeast Asia. The journal welcomes submissions that relate to well-being of (a) migrants, refugees, and displaced communities, (b) at-risk youth and families, (c) chronically ill and other individuals with health risks, (d) communities facing natural disasters, (e) unprotected sectors of employment, (f) students with special needs, their families and teachers, (g) cultural/ethnic minorities, and other disadvantaged or stigmatized social groups. 

For this special issue, we invite empirical studies (quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods), that focus on any of the following topics:

  • meanings, structures, and measures of psychological well-being or specific positive psychological functions and states assumed to be aspects of psychological well-being
  • sociocultural antecedents and other predictors of specific aspects or indicators of psychological well-being and positive psychological states
  • risk factors that compromise psychological well-being
  • short-term and long-term consequences and correlates of psychological well-being and positive psychological functions/states, including how well-being and positive psychological functions/states buffer the effects of distress
  • psychological and other interventions to strengthen well-being or other positive psychological functions or states

Authors from South Asia and Southeast Asia are encouraged to submit their manuscripts, and submissions are welcome from researchers anywhere in the globe as long as their research involves South Asian or Southeast Asian individuals or groups.

Only manuscripts reporting the results of empirical research studies will be considered. Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously in any form or in any language, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should adhere to Author Guidelines which can be accessed on Psychological Studies website:

This is an open call for submissions, but there will be a pre-screening of abstracts and only accepted abstracts will be invited to submit full manuscripts. In order to apply for consideration, please email your abstract to Allan B. I. Bernardo at (Email:, with the subject line “Submission for Special Issue – Psychology of Well-being in the Margins”).

Abstract submissions should be no more than 500 words and should contain all typical elements of an abstract reporting an empirical study. In addition, the abstract submission should include:

  • a clear set of theoretical assumptions/premises regarding the concept of psychological well-being or the specific aspect of well-being that is the focus of the study,
  • a clear description of the marginalized group that is the focus of the study and their particular disadvantages and vulnerabilities in the country of study,
  • as much detail regarding the data-gathering and data-analytic approaches, and also about the results of the study, and
  • a concise statement of how the study contributes to current theory and research on the psychology of well-being.

Those whose abstracts are accepted after the pre-screening will be invited to submit full manuscripts online at

Timelines for the Special Issue:

  • Call for abstract submissions open – 1 March 2021
  • Closing date for submission of abstracts – 30 June 2021
  • Invitation extended to those with accepted abstracts to submit full drafts – 15 July 2021
  • Deadline for submission of full manuscripts – 31 August 2021
  • Peer-review, revision, and editorial decision (rejection/acceptance) –  September 2021 to March 2022
  • Target publication of special issue – June 2022