American Journal of Orthopsychiatry
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As the principal publication of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice, the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (AJO) reflects the Alliance’s goal of informing policy, practice, and research concerning behavioral health, social justice, and well-being. Consistent with that mission, the journal publishes articles that clarify, challenge, or reshape the prevailing understanding of factors in the prevention and correction of injustice and in the sustainable development of a humane and just society. AJO publishes theoretical, analytic, and empirical articles on topics related to the Alliance’s historic values and themes and that contain clear implications for clinical practice, prevention, public health, law, and/or social policy.
AJO is an interdisciplinary journal, publishing the work of scholars and researchers in anthropology, criminology, law, nursing, psychiatry, psychology, social work, sociology, public administration, public health, and other disciplines.
Contemporary topics in AJO’s topical scope include, but are not limited to, public behavioral health and prevention; institutional reform; causes and solutions to behavioral healthcare disparities; adaption of behavioral health methods to the needs of racial, ethnic, cultural and other minority groups; responses to natural and human-made disasters; immigrants and refugees; underserved behavioral health populations; protection of vulnerable people; and sociocultural dimensions of behavioral health problems.
Articles published by AJO are generally one of three types:
- First and most conventionally, AJO publishes reports of empirical research, testing hypotheses or otherwise incrementing knowledge about behavioral health and social justice.
- Second, AJO occasionally invites leading scholars to guest-edit special sections or issues on topics of particular interest. Such special features typically contain review articles or new findings, solicited by the guest editor through an open call for manuscripts. The guest editor works with the editors to coordinate peer reviews of the manuscripts that are submitted in response to invitations.
- Third, AJO includes Social Innovations, a feature in magazine format, intended to promote conversation about strategies for establishing new social contexts and changing social norms to create more auspicious circumstances for behavioral health and social justice.
Jill D. McLeigh
University of Colorado School of Medicine
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
University of Maryland at College Park
Gary B. Melton
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Editorial Board Reviewers
Norwegian Institute for Social Research
Ellen L. Bassuk
Center for Social Innovation
Bar Ilan University
University of Southern California
Kendell L. Coker
University of New Haven
Cyleste C Collins
Cleveland State University
Heather L. Corliss
San Diego State University
Christopher F. Drescher
Amy L Dworsky
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
Johns Hopkins University
Eric A. Evans
Disability Rights Nebraska
Frederick J. Frese
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Larry M. Gant
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Devon Emerson Hinton
Harvard Medical School
Debra A. Hope
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Matthew Owen Howard
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Iheoma U. Iruka
HighScope Educational Research Foundation
Ryan P. Kilmer
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Mimi M. Kim
Ibrahim Aref Kira
Center for Cumulative Trauma Studies
Roger J.R. Levesque
University of Colorado
Nancy H. Liu
University of California at Berkeley
University of New England
Kathryn Marley Magruder
Medical University of South Carolina
Michael R. McCart
Oregon Social Learning Center
James R. McDonell
David P. Moxley
University of Alaska Anchorage
The University of Sydney
University of Southern California
Kenneth I. Pargament
Bowling Green State University
Sita G. Patel
Palo Alto University
Fielding Graduate University
Stefan E. Schulenberg
University of Mississippi
University of Ottawa
Victor C. Strasburger
University of New Mexico School of Medicine
Cris M. Sullivan
Michigan State University
Tony Xing Tan
University of South Florida
Martie P. Thompson
Luis A. Vargas
Corrales, New Mexico
University of Buffalo
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
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Prior to submission, please carefully read and follow the submission guidelines detailed below. Manuscripts that do not conform to the submission guidelines may be returned without review.
Submit manuscripts electronically through the Manuscript Submission Portal.
Jill D. McLeigh
University of Colorado School of Medicine
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
General correspondence should be directed to Sharon Crout in the Editorial Office.
As noted in the journal description, AJO publishes theoretical, policy-analytic, and empirical articles on topics related to the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice's historic values and themes. Articles may also be grouped by their format and source.
In that regard, there are three contexts for selection of manuscripts for publication as articles in AJO.
- First and most conventionally, scholars interested in the topical domains that are within AJO's scope are encouraged to submit individual manuscripts for consideration.
- Second, AJO occasionally invites leading scholars to edit special sections or issues on topics of particular interest. Such special features typically contain articles solicited by the guest editor, who coordinates initial reviews of the manuscripts that are submitted in response to these invitations.
- Third, AJO includes a unique magazine-in-a-journal. This feature is called Social Innovations and is intended to promote conversation about strategies for establishing new social settings and changing social norms to create more auspicious circumstances for mental health promotion.
AJO rarely considers review articles that do not include new findings. Interested authors should discuss such reviews with the editors prior to submission.
Articles for Social Innovations
Like other articles in AJO, those chosen for publication in Social Innovations are expected to be well grounded in empirical research and in the values that have sustained orthopsychiatry across multiple generations. Unlike other articles in AJO, however, those selected for Social Innovations are written in magazine style and are intended for discussion not only in the mental health professions but also among general audiences of people who are educated, thoughtful, and socially concerned.
The writing in Social Innovations is at the level of The Atlantic or Harper's, and the articles are lucid, informative, lively, and provocative. Articles in the section are concise (typically 10 to 20 double-spaced manuscript pages).
Readers who study the articles in Social Innovations and who are members of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice may obtain continuing education credit from the Alliance's partner, Red Toad Road Company, an APA-approved provider. Instructions for receipt of credit are included in each article in the section.
Articles included in Social Innovations are ordinarily invited. However, they are sometimes based on manuscripts that were initially presented in conventional form through the procedures for consideration of manuscripts generated by individual scholars or teams of scholars in the field. Authors with ideas for articles in Social Innovations should contact AJO Symposia Editor Jill McLeigh to determine the suitability of the proposed articles and, if appropriate, to obtain specific guidelines in regard to the style of articles for inclusion in Social Innovations.
All manuscripts considered by AJO are subject to peer review.
Selection of manuscripts is based on
- relevance to the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice's mission, with clear implications for clinical practice, prevention, public health, and/or social policy;
- contribution of new findings to understanding or solution of problems related to behavioral health and social justice;
- importance in development or refinement of pertinent theory;
- scientific merit, including the rigor of philosophical, legal, behavioral and social analyses;
- quality of writing (i.e., clarity, accuracy, and brevity of presentation); and
- interest, comprehensibility, and usefulness for an interdisciplinary audience of scholars, policy makers, practicing professionals, and graduate students in pertinent disciplines and professional training programs.
Masked Review Policy
AJO has a policy of masked review for all submissions. Manuscripts should be prepared in a form suitable for masked review, with obvious indicators of the authors' identity deleted from the narrative. A separate title page will be required that should list all author names and corresponding author contact information.
Manuscripts submitted to American Journal of Orthopsychiatry should be prepared in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th Edition (2010).
Review APA's Journal Manuscript Preparation Guidelines before submitting your article.
Authors should review the APA Style Journal Article Reporting Standards (JARS) for quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. Updated in 2018, the standards offer ways to improve transparency in reporting to ensure that readers have the information necessary to evaluate the quality of the research and to facilitate collaboration and replication.
The new JARS
- Recommend the division of hypotheses, analyses and conclusions into primary, secondary and exploratory groupings to allow for a full understanding of quantitative analyses presented in a manuscript and to enhance reproducibility;
- Offer modules for authors reporting on N-of-1 designs, replications, clinical trials, longitudinal studies and observational studies, as well as the analytic methods of structural equation modeling and Bayesian analysis;
- Include guidelines on reporting on registration (including making protocols public); participant characteristics, including demographic characteristics; inclusion and exclusion criteria; psychometric characteristics of outcome measures and other variables; and planned data diagnostics and analytic strategy.
Double-space all copy. Other formatting instructions, as well as instructions on preparing tables, figures, references, metrics, and abstracts, appear in the Manual. Additional guidance on APA Style is available on the APA Style website.
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Submitting Supplemental Materials
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All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words typed on a separate page.
Public Policy Relevance Statements
Authors submitting manuscripts to the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry are required to provide 2–3 brief sentences regarding the public policy relevance of the study or meta-analysis described in their paper. This description should be included within the manuscript on the abstract/keywords page. It should be written in language that is easily understood by both professionals and members of the lay public.
When an accepted paper is published, these sentences will be boxed beneath the abstract for easy accessibility. All such descriptions will also be published as part of the Table of Contents, as well as on the journal's web page. This new policy is in keeping with efforts to increase dissemination and usage by larger and diverse audiences.
Examples of these 2–3 sentences include the following:
- "Coming out to others as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) in adolescence shows strong associations with lower levels of depression and more satisfaction and self-esteem in young adulthood, in spite of victimization that youth may experience because of being LGBT. This study suggests that school policies should not inhibit youth from coming out, and school personnel and administrators should be held accountable for providing a safe environment for all students."
- "Little is known about the effectiveness of housing interventions for homeless families. This systematic review documents the lack of evidence on which to build sound policy to address and end family homelessness and highlights the need to develop an evidence base to determine what works and for which subgroups of families."
- "Cyber bullying is a significant problem among middle and high school students. These findings suggest that students were often cyber bullied by someone they considered a friend and that students bullied others online who were considered friends. It is thus important that policy makers incorporate an understanding of peer-to-peer victimization in their prevention and intervention efforts in the field of cyber abuse."
- "When children participated in the enriched preschool program Head Start REDI, they were more likely to follow optimal developmental trajectories of social– emotional functioning through third grade. Ensuring that all children living in poverty have access to high-quality preschool may be one of the more effective means of reducing disparities in school readiness and increasing the likelihood of lifelong success."
To be maximally useful, these statements of public policy relevance should not simply be sentences lifted directly from the manuscript.
They are meant to be informative and useful to any reader. They should provide a bottom-line, take-home message that is accurate and easily understood. In addition, they should be able to be translated into media-appropriate statements for use in press releases and on social media.
List references in alphabetical order. Each listed reference should be cited in text, and each text citation should be listed in the References section.
Examples of basic reference formats:
- Journal Article:
Hughes, G., Desantis, A., & Waszak, F. (2013). Mechanisms of intentional binding and sensory attenuation: The role of temporal prediction, temporal control, identity prediction, and motor prediction. Psychological Bulletin, 139, 133–151. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0028566
- Authored Book:
Rogers, T. T., & McClelland, J. L. (2004). Semantic cognition: A parallel distributed processing approach. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Chapter in an Edited Book:
Gill, M. J., & Sypher, B. D. (2009). Workplace incivility and organizational trust. In P. Lutgen-Sandvik & B. D. Sypher (Eds.), Destructive organizational communication: Processes, consequences, and constructive ways of organizing (pp. 53–73). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
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For more information about acceptable resolutions, fonts, sizing, and other figure issues, please see the general guidelines.
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For authors who prefer their figures to be published in color both in print and online, original color figures can be printed in color at the editor's and publisher's discretion provided the author agrees to pay:
- $900 for one figure
- An additional $600 for the second figure
- An additional $450 for each subsequent figure
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On advice of counsel, APA may decline to publish any image whose copyright status is unknown.
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At submission, authors must confirm that criteria have been fulfilled in a signed badge disclosure form (PDF, 33KB) that must be submitted as supplemental material. If all criteria are met as confirmed by the editor, the form will then be published with the article as supplemental material.
Authors should also note their eligibility for the badge(s) in the cover letter.
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Available badges are:
All data necessary to reproduce the reported results that are digitally shareable are made publicly available. Information necessary for replication (e.g., codebooks or metadata) must be included.
All materials necessary to reproduce the reported results that are digitally shareable, along with descriptions of non-digital materials necessary for replication, are made publicly available.
At least one study's design has been preregistered with descriptions of (a) the research design and study materials, including the planned sample size; (b) the motivating research question or hypothesis; (c) the outcome variable(s); and (d) the predictor variables, including controls, covariates, and independent variables. Results must be fully disclosed. As long as they are distinguished from other results in the article, results from analyses that were not preregistered may be reported in the article.
At least one study's design has been preregistered along with an analysis plan for the research — and results are recorded according to that plan.
Note that it may not be possible to preregister a study or to share data and materials. Applying for open science badges is optional.
APA policy prohibits an author from submitting the same manuscript for concurrent consideration by two or more publications.
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Authors of accepted manuscripts are required to transfer the copyright to APA.
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Publication Rights (Copyright Transfer) Form (PDF, 83KB)
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Wellcome Trust or Research Councils UK Publication Rights Form (PDF, 34KB)
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In addition, APA Ethical Principles specify that "after research results are published, psychologists do not withhold the data on which their conclusions are based from other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis and who intend to use such data only for that purpose, provided that the confidentiality of the participants can be protected and unless legal rights concerning proprietary data preclude their release" (Standard 8.14).
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The APA Ethics Office provides the full Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct electronically on its website in HTML, PDF, and Word format. You may also request a copy by emailing or calling the APA Ethics Office (202-336-5930). You may also read "Ethical Principles," December 1992, American Psychologist, Vol. 47, pp. 1597–1611.
Visit the Journals Publishing Resource Center for more resources for writing, reviewing, and editing articles for publishing in APA journals.
- Bullying and Peer Victimization of Vulnerable, Marginalized, and Oppressed Youth
Special issue of APA's American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 88, No. 4, July 2018. Each study contributes to the bullying and school violence scholarship, which can provide avenues for discussions on best ways to address not only bullying but also racism, sexism, heteronormativity, homophobia, ableism, classism, and Eurocentrism, all of which accompany bias-based bullying.
- Facilitating Reintegration for Military Service Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families
Special issue of the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 87, No. 2, March 2017. The articles identify reintegration needs, challenges, and barriers in addressing reintegration; issues in evaluating reintegration; and actionable strategies for facilitating reintegration.
- Finding Meaning in Community
Special issue of APA's American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 85, No. 6 (suppl), November 2015. The articles offer strategies for strengthening the building blocks of social capital (connectedness, participation, and trust).
- Generations in Conflict
Special issue of APA's American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 85, No. 5 (suppl), September 2015. The articles question whether providing culturally competent services is enough when responding to mental health needs of the Baby Boomer vs. Millennial generations.
- Development of Boys of Color and Challenges for Ethnic Minorities
Special issue of APA's American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 83, No. 2–3, April–July 2013. Includes articles about the status, trajectories, and moderators of developmental outcomes of boys of color.
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