Representation of women in neuropsychology research prior to the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarah Prieto, Katherine J. Bangen, Kaitlin Riegler, Stella H. Kim, Zanjbeel Mahmood, Erin T. Kaseda, Rachael L. Ellison, Erin Sullivan-Baca

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Prior work has demonstrated that women have been historically underrepresented across various research fields, including neuropsychology. Given these disparities, the goal of this study was to systematically evaluate the inclusion of women as participants in neuropsychology research. The current study builds upon previous research by examining articles from eight peer-reviewed neuropsychology journals published in 2019. Method: Empirical articles examining human samples were included in the current review if they were available in English. Eligible articles were examined to glean whether the main topic of the article was related to a gender issue, how gender was categorized, the gender distribution of the sample, whether gender was considered in analyses, whether gender was addressed in the discussion, and what age categories the study examined. Results: There was a relatively even distribution of men (51.76%) and women (48.24%) in neuropsychological research studies reviewed. There were twice as many studies that included only men compared to only women (16 vs. 8 studies), and nearly twice as many studies consisted of ≥ 75% men (16.6%) compared to ≥75% of women (8.5%). Gender-focused research was limited (3%). Furthermore, gender was frequently disregarded in analyses (58%) and often not addressed in the discussion (75%). Conclusions: The current study highlights the limitations within neuropsychology related to the representation of women in research. Although it is encouraging that neuropsychological research is generally inclusive of women participants, future research should aim to more comprehensively investigate how gender may influence cognitive risk and resilience factors across different clinical presentations. Recommendations to begin addressing this challenge and to move toward more gender-equitable research are provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Neuropsychology
  • representation of women
  • sex bias
  • sex reporting
  • women’s health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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