Call for Papers (special section, Journal of Abnormal Psychology)

Please see below for a call for abstracts for a Special Section of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology on Theories of Psychopathology.  Please consider sharing this call within your professional networks.  Abstracts due Nov 15, 2019.


·         Abstract (200 words or fewer) Submission Due: November 15, 2019

·         Full Submissions Deadline: April 15, 2020


·         Jerillyn Kent

·         Kristian Markon

·         Angus MacDonald III

It is well accepted that etiologies of mental illnesses are complex, involving numerous biopsychosocial processes not able to be localized to purely biological mechanisms (see Miller, 1996). Theories regarding the etiology of psychopathology are largely circumscribed to specific disorders (i.e., depression, schizophrenia), phenomenology (i.e., mood disturbances, psychosis), or spectra (i.e., internalizing, thought disorder). Less attention has been paid to general frameworks for understanding the development and expression of psychopathology more broadly, those that provide emergent accounts integrating across multiple scales of biological and psychological systems, environment, and experience that seek to explain the multifarious patterns of mental illness manifestation. In an attempt to address this lack of overarching theoretical infrastructure, the goal of this special section is to compile a selection of papers outlining transdiagnostic theories of the mechanisms of psychopathology.

We invite submissions outlining theories that integrate the roles of environment (in any sense—physical, psychosocial, cultural, etc.; e.g., contingency learning) in the development and expression of psychopathology. We welcome theories that address boundaries (or lack thereof) between different forms of mental illness and with mental health. This would include theories accounting for the conceptualization of experiences and behaviors as pathological within an individual’s cultural, social, interpersonal, and intrapersonal contexts. We welcome submissions that integrate across levels, scales, or frames of analysis, such as those that provide integrated biological and socioecological accounts, although theories that primarily explicate details of biological processes are not the focus of this special section. Papers addressing related metatheoretical or methodological issues, such as how to validate integrative, emergent models across many levels of analysis are appropriate. Submissions outlining theories that are specific to one disorder or class of disorders will not be considered.

Please email an abstract (200 words or fewer) of a proposed submission to Editor’s Office by November 15, 2019. Full submissions will be due April 15, 2020. Do not send a completed manuscript without approval of the abstract. All submissions for the special section will go through the normal peer-review process, with no guarantee of acceptance. All submissions must comply with APA policies, including certification of compliance with APA ethical principles for research, the prohibition of multiple submissions and duplicate publication, authors’ obligation to retain raw data, and other requirements for submission to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology® as noted on the journal’s homepage.


Miller, G.A. (1996). How we think about cognition, emotion, and biology in psychopathology. Psychophysiology33, 615-628.