Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice ® (CFP) is a scholarly journal publishing peer-reviewed papers representing the science and practice of family psychology. CFP is the official publication of APA Division 43 (Society for Couple and Family Psychology) and is intended to be a forum for scholarly dialogue regarding the most important emerging issues in the field, a primary outlet for research particularly as it impacts practice and for papers regarding education, public policy, and the identity of the profession of family psychology.

As the official journal for the Society, CFP will provide a home for the members of the division and those in other fields interested in the most cutting edge issues in family psychology. Unlike other journals in the field, CFP is focused specifically on family psychology as a specialty practice, unique scientific domain, and critical element of psychological knowledge.

CFP will seek and publish scholarly manuscripts that make a contribution to the knowledge base of family psychology specifically, and the science and practice of working with individuals, couples and families from a family systems perspective in general.

The journal is designed in format and in vision with the following goals:

  • To provide a mechanism to promote the integration of the science and practice of family psychology;
  • Make a strong contribution to the scholarship of family psychology;
  • Promote the interdisciplinary nature of family psychology;
  • Enhance the international focus on family psychology;
  • Promote education and training in family psychology; and
  • Promote the issues of social justice and multicultural competence as they relate to family psychology.
Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice® is a registered trademark of American Psychological Association
Editorial Board


Thomas L. Sexton
Indiana University

Associate Editors

Cindy Carlson
University of Texas, Austin

Anthony L. Chambers
Northwestern University

Consulting Editors

Doug Breunlin
The Family Institute at Northwestern University

Alan Carr
University College Dublin

Marianne P. Celano
Emory University

Joseph Cervantes
California State University, Fullerton

Jane Close Conoley
California State University, Long Beach

Corinne Datchi
Seton Hall University

Frank Dattilio
Harvard Medical School

Robert Emery
University of Virginia

Celia Jaes Falicov
University of California, San Diego

Mona Fishbane
Chicago Center for Family Health, Chicago, IL

Anne Fishel
Harvard Medical School

Myrna L. Friedlander
University at Albany, SUNY

Kristina Coop Gordon
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Michele Harway
Fielding Graduate University

Susan Johnson
University of Ottawa

Florence Kaslow
Kaslow Associates, Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Shalonda Kelly
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Howard A. Liddle
University of Miami

Jeffrey J. Magnavita
Independent Practice, Glastonbury, CT

Susan H. McDaniel
University of Rochester

Timothy O’Farrell
Harvard Medical School

Patricia Papernow
Harvard Medical School

Terence Patterson
University of San Francisco

Mudita Rastogi
Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University

Kevin S. Reimer
Fresno Pacific University

Galena Rhoades
University of Denver

Shelley A. Riggs
University of North Texas

Tamara Sher
The Family Institute at Northwestern University

Elizabeth Skowron
University of Oregon

Douglas K. Snyder
Texas A&M University

John Thoburn
Seattle Pacific University

Robert Welsh
Azusa Pacific University

Manuscript Coordinator

Lauren Covalucci
American Psychological Association, Washington, DC

Abstracting & Indexing

Abstracting and indexing services providing coverage of Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice ®

  • PsycINFO
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 (.rtf or .doc) through the Manuscript Submission Portal.

Manuscript Submission Portal Entrance

Thomas L. Sexton, Editor
Indiana University

Do not submit manuscripts to the Editor's email address.

In addition to addresses and phone numbers, please supply email addresses and fax numbers for use by the editorial office and later by the production office. Keep a copy of the manuscript to guard against loss. Manuscripts are not returned


Each issue of Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice® will feature theme articles that provide a primary focus for the issue. We intend that the principal theme article (the "lead" article that represents a major contribution to the field) will present a comprehensive and critical literature analysis in advance of refined or specific novel material that reflects original research and/or clinical innovation.

A systemic epistemology is expected to be evident in the conceptualization and analysis of each article, consistent with the specialty. Focused articles that supplement the major contribution will provide additional or alternative perspectives to each major contribution. The remainder of the issue will feature articles that represent the broad domain of the specialty of couple and family psychology.

Potential themes for early issues of the journal may include couple and family psychology:

  • epistemology
  • theory
  • assessment
  • interventions
  • treatment process improvements
  • therapeutic relationship
  • specialty competencies
  • ethics

Treatment-focused theme articles may focus on particular clinical problem domains from a systemic perspective that combine research and practice (e.g., substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, relationship issues, sexuality).

Research theme articles may demonstrate methodology, accumulated research knowledge, and clinically relevant research findings. Alternatively, major contributions around diversity, spirituality, or other overarching ideas are welcome.

The method of the article should reflect the research question(s), and a variety of data and research methods are acceptable and encouraged.

The Editor welcomes inquiries regarding the suitability of ideas for theme or regular articles. Authors who wish to intend a principal theme article may submit a proposal prior to submission of a complete article in order to receive editorial recommendations.

Evidence-Based Case Study

The clinical case study may be defined as a detailed analysis of the therapy conducted with a couple or family that will be instructive, may be exemplary or cautionary, and stresses factors contributing to either success or failure of the treatment. Because evidence-based clinical case studies can be difficult to do well, Evidence-Based Case Study Guidelines are provided.

Also see Possible Couple/Family Clinical Case Study Outline.

Manuscript Preparation

Prepare manuscripts according to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). Manuscripts may be copyedited for bias-free language (see Chapter 3 of the Publication Manual).

Review APA's Checklist for Manuscript Submission before submitting your article.

Double-space all copy. Other formatting instructions, as well as instructions on preparing tables, figures, references, metrics, and abstracts, appear in the Manual.

If your manuscript was mask reviewed, please ensure that the final version for production includes a byline and full author note for typesetting.

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.

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.

Abstract and Keywords

All manuscripts must include an abstract containing a maximum of 250 words typed on a separate page. After the abstract, please supply up to five keywords or brief phrases.


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.

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

Special Issues
  • Relationship Uncertainty

    Special issue of the APA journal Couple and Family Psychology, Vol. 3, No. 4, December 2014. Includes articles about the implications of either partners' commitment uncertainty on marital or relationship therapy.

  • Dynamics in Couples and Families Coping With HIV Risk and Infection

    Special issue of the APA journal Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol. 1, No. 2, June 2012. Articles discuss HIV and STD prevention and risk-reduction interventions with heterosexual and homosexual couples, parents, and adolescents.