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.
Editorial Board


Symposia Editor

Jill D. McLeigh
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Articles Editor

William Spaulding
University of Nebraska at Lincoln

Senior Editors

Oscar Barbarin
University of Maryland at College Park

Gary B. Melton
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Editorial Assistant

Sharon Crout
Clemson University

Editorial Board Reviewers

Elisabeth Backe-Hansen
Norwegian Institute for Social Research

Ellen L. Bassuk
Center for Social Innovation

Rami Benbenishty
Bar Ilan University

John Brekke
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
Augusta University

Amy L Dworsky
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Eric Elbogen
Duke University

Joyce Epstein
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

Virginia Gil-Rivas
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
Duke University

Ibrahim Aref Kira
Center for Cumulative Trauma Studies

Roger J.R. Levesque
Indiana University

Terri Lewis
University of Colorado

Nancy H. Liu
University of California at Berkeley

Bob Lonne
University of New England

Kathryn Marley Magruder
Medical University of South Carolina

Michael R. McCart
Oregon Social Learning Center

James R. McDonell
Clemson University

David P. Moxley
University of Alaska Anchorage

Virginia Murphy-Berman
Skidmore College

Kim Oates
The University of Sydney

Ellen Olshansky
University of Southern California

Kenneth I. Pargament
Bowling Green State University

Sita G. Patel
Palo Alto University

Gilbert Reyes
Fielding Graduate University

Stefan E. Schulenberg
University of Mississippi

Anna Skosireva
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
Clemson University

Luis A. Vargas
Corrales, New Mexico

Weijun Wang
University of Buffalo

Nancy Wolff
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Abstracting & Indexing

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Manuscript Submission

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.

Submit Manuscript

Jill D. McLeigh
University of Colorado School of Medicine

William Spaulding
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.

Manuscript Selection

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.

Manuscript Preparation

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.

Below are additional instructions regarding the preparation of display equations, computer code, and tables.

Display Equations

We strongly encourage you to use MathType (third-party software) or Equation Editor 3.0 (built into pre-2007 versions of Word) to construct your equations, rather than the equation support that is built into Word 2007 and Word 2010. Equations composed with the built-in Word 2007/Word 2010 equation support are converted to low-resolution graphics when they enter the production process and must be rekeyed by the typesetter, which may introduce errors.

To construct your equations with MathType or Equation Editor 3.0:

  • Go to the Text section of the Insert tab and select Object.
  • Select MathType or Equation Editor 3.0 in the drop-down menu.

If you have an equation that has already been produced using Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010 and you have access to the full version of MathType 6.5 or later, you can convert this equation to MathType by clicking on MathType Insert Equation. Copy the equation from Microsoft Word and paste it into the MathType box. Verify that your equation is correct, click File, and then click Update. Your equation has now been inserted into your Word file as a MathType Equation.

Use Equation Editor 3.0 or MathType only for equations or for formulas that cannot be produced as Word text using the Times or Symbol font.

Computer Code

Because altering computer code in any way (e.g., indents, line spacing, line breaks, page breaks) during the typesetting process could alter its meaning, we treat computer code differently from the rest of your article in our production process. To that end, we request separate files for computer code.

In Online Supplemental Material

We request that runnable source code be included as supplemental material to the article. For more information, visit Supplementing Your Article With Online Material.

In the Text of the Article

If you would like to include code in the text of your published manuscript, please submit a separate file with your code exactly as you want it to appear, using Courier New font with a type size of 8 points. We will make an image of each segment of code in your article that exceeds 40 characters in length. (Shorter snippets of code that appear in text will be typeset in Courier New and run in with the rest of the text.) If an appendix contains a mix of code and explanatory text, please submit a file that contains the entire appendix, with the code keyed in 8-point Courier New.


Use Word's Insert Table function when you create tables. Using spaces or tabs in your table will create problems when the table is typeset and may result in errors.

Academic Writing and English Language Editing Services

Authors who feel that their manuscript may benefit from additional academic writing or language editing support prior to submission are encouraged to seek out such services at their host institutions, engage with colleagues and subject matter experts, and/or consider several vendors that offer discounts to APA authors.

Please note that APA does not endorse or take responsibility for the service providers listed. It is strictly a referral service.

Use of such service is not mandatory for publication in an APA journal. Use of one or more of these services does not guarantee selection for peer review, manuscript acceptance, or preference for publication in any APA journal.

Submitting Supplemental Materials

APA can place supplemental materials online, available via the published article in the PsycARTICLES® database. Please see Supplementing Your Article With Online Material for more details.


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.
  • 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.


Graphics files are welcome if supplied as Tiff or EPS files. Multipanel figures (i.e., figures with parts labeled a, b, c, d, etc.) should be assembled into one file.

The minimum line weight for line art is 0.5 point for optimal printing.

For more information about acceptable resolutions, fonts, sizing, and other figure issues, please see the general guidelines.

When possible, please place symbol legends below the figure instead of to the side.

APA offers authors the option to publish their figures online in color without the costs associated with print publication of color figures.

The same caption will appear on both the online (color) and print (black and white) versions. To ensure that the figure can be understood in both formats, authors should add alternative wording (e.g., "the red (dark gray) bars represent") as needed.

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


Authors of accepted papers must obtain and provide to the editor on final acceptance all necessary permissions to reproduce in print and electronic form any copyrighted work, including test materials (or portions thereof), photographs, and other graphic images (including those used as stimuli in experiments).

On advice of counsel, APA may decline to publish any image whose copyright status is unknown.

Open Science Badges

Starting in August 2017, articles are eligible for open science badges recognizing publicly available data, materials, and/or preregistration plans and analyses. These badges are awarded on a self-disclosure basis.

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.

For all badges, items must be made available on an open-access repository with a persistent identifier in a format that is time-stamped, immutable, and permanent. For the preregistered badge, this is an institutional registration system.

Data and materials must be made available under an open license allowing others to copy, share, and use the data, with attribution and copyright as applicable.

Available badges are:

Open Data BadgeOpen Data:
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.


Open Materials BadgeOpen Materials:
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.


Preregistered BadgePreregistered:
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.


Preregistered+Analysis BadgePreregistered+Analysis Plan:
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.

Publication Policies

APA policy prohibits an author from submitting the same manuscript for concurrent consideration by two or more publications.

See also APA Journals® Internet Posting Guidelines.

APA requires authors to reveal any possible conflict of interest in the conduct and reporting of research (e.g., financial interests in a test or procedure, funding by pharmaceutical companies for drug research).

Authors of accepted manuscripts are required to transfer the copyright to APA.

Ethical Principles

It is a violation of APA Ethical Principles to publish "as original data, data that have been previously published" (Standard 8.13).

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).

APA expects authors to adhere to these standards. Specifically, APA expects authors to have their data available throughout the editorial review process and for at least 5 years after the date of publication.

Authors are required to state in writing that they have complied with APA ethical standards in the treatment of their sample, human or animal, or to describe the details of treatment.

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.

Other Information

Visit the Journals Publishing Resource Center for more resources for writing, reviewing, and editing articles for publishing in APA journals.

Special Issues
  • 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.