The Journal of Abnormal Psychology® publishes articles on basic research and theory in the broad field of abnormal behavior, its determinants, and its correlates. The following general topics fall within its area of major focus:
- psychopathology—its etiology, development, symptomatology, and course;
- normal processes in abnormal individuals;
- pathological or atypical features of the behavior of normal persons;
- experimental studies, with human or animal subjects, relating to disordered emotional behavior or pathology;
- sociocultural effects on pathological processes, including the influence of gender and ethnicity; and
- tests of hypotheses from psychological theories that relate to abnormal behavior.
Theoretical papers of scholarly substance on abnormality may be appropriate if they advance understanding of a specific issue directly relevant to abnormal psychology and fall within the length restrictions of a regular (not extended) article. The priority is empirical papers.
Each article should represent an addition to knowledge and understanding of abnormal behavior in its etiology, description, or change.
In order to improve the use of journal resources, it has been agreed that the Journal of Abnormal Psychology will not consider articles dealing with the diagnosis or treatment of abnormal behavior, and the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology will not consider articles dealing with the etiology or descriptive pathology of abnormal behavior.
Therefore, a study that focuses primarily on treatment efficacy should be submitted to the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. However, a longitudinal study focusing on developmental influences or origins of abnormal behavior should be submitted to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.