Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Cover image for Vol. 41 Issue 4

Edited By: Fred P. Piercy

Impact Factor: 2.528

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2014: 4/40 (Family Studies); 32/119 (Psychology Clinical)

Online ISSN: 1752-0606

Author Guidelines

Instructions for Authors
The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy (JMFT) is published in accordance with the purposes of the sponsoring organization, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, in January, April, July, and October to advance the professional understanding of marital and family therapy. Toward that end, the JMFT publishes articles on research, theory, clinical practice, and training in marital and family therapy.

Articles are selected on the basis of appropriateness, clarity, significance, timeliness, and contribution to the field of marital and family therapy. Authors need not be members of the AAMFT. No remuneration is paid for accepted manuscripts.


Evaluation of Manuscripts
Manuscripts are accepted for consideration with the understanding that they have not been published previously and are not being considered simultaneously for publication elsewhere. The right to reject any manuscript or return it to the author for format, style, or other revisions before accepting it for publication is reserved by the editorial staff.

Authors must submit their manuscripts online via the ScholarOne system at If an author does not already have an account, click on Create Account on the upper right side of the screen to be guided through the submission process. Please follow all of the instructions carefully, including adding all co-author names into the system where indicated. Cover letters should be copied and pasted into the window provided rather than as an attachment. Submissions that do not adhere to these instructions will be returned to the author for resubmission. Click here for a full tutorial related to the submission process.

JMFT will acknowledge receipt of the manuscript via email. Our evaluation process includes an initial review by state-of-the-art plagiarism-checking software Our peer review process entails obtaining blind feedback on your manuscript from three to four experts on the topic. We strive to reach a decision concerning publication as quickly as possible, and we typically have a six-week turnaround.

If a manuscript is accepted, page proofs will be sent to authors and must be returned within 48 hours. Changes at that point will be limited to the correcting of printing errors, spelling, dates, and grammar. Substantive changes such as adding phrases, sentences, and paragraphs are not permitted without the Editor’s approval.

Format for Manuscripts

General Guidelines:

Manuscripts should be no more than 30 pages, including references, tables, and figures, formatted for 8 1/2 x 11' paper with 1-inch margins on all sides and using 12-point Times New Roman font. The entire manuscript, including abstract, references, and quoted materials should be double-spaced. Please refer to our sample submission or the current issue of the JMFT for examples of the format and style elements. Articles not in the specified format will be returned to authors for revision.

Style. The style of JMFT calls for formal usage. Contractions, slang, and abbreviations should be omitted, except in cases of direct quotation or when usage is specifically demanded by the context and set forth in quotation marks. We prefer authors to use active versus passive voice. (e.g., “The researchers collected data…” instead of “Data were collected…”) All submitted manuscripts are subject to editing.

Blinding. We prefer that you do not attempt to blind your manuscript so that we may do so according to our particular process; blinded manuscripts that do not follow our protocol often must be unsubmitted to provide missing information crucial to blinding it properly for the peer review process, thus causing delays.

Specific File Guidelines:

Using our online system, you will upload your submission as separate documents. Please only upload Microsoft Word documents; pdfs are not acceptable and will be returned for resubmission.

A) Title Page. The separated title page must provide the title of the article and each author’s name along with his or her primary (current) professional affiliation. Underneath a short dividing line at the bottom of the page please provide:

  1. A sentence about each author that includes author’s name, highest earned degree, current professional or departmental affiliation, and location;  
  2. Any changes in affiliation subsequent to the time of the study;
  3. Previous presentations of the paper, grants, or thanks and acknowledgments as well as any conflicts of interest;
  4. Full contact information including name of author, complete mailing address, and e-mail if desired.

B) Main Document. The main document is your basic manuscript text. Do not include the title page, and do not upload more than one main document. In addition, please make sure your submission does not include any tracked changes.

This file must contain the following in order:

Abstract. The first page should provide an abstract of not more than 120 words, describing the paper’s topic, method, and conclusions or implications. All words in the abstract must be italicized.

Main Text. Beginning on a new page, provide the article title and divide the text into appropriate sections with headings. Each regular paragraph should be indented


Second-order headings should be placed on a separate line, begin with the left margin, and be completely italicized. Third-order headings should begin on the same line with the first sentence of the section, be indented five spaces, have only the first word capitalized, end with a period, and be italicized.

Citations and References. In-text citations and references must follow APA style. Citations should be given in the text by enclosing in parentheses the surname of the author(s) and the year of the publication. The page numbers are included when a direct quote is used. Example: (Caldera, 2000, p. 156). After the main body of the text, begin the references section on a new page.

References corresponding to all citations should be typed, double-spaced, and listed alphabetically. They should be in hanging indent format. Journal and book titles are italicized. Page numbers must be included for book chapters. The guide for style related to citations and references is the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). This guide can be obtained from the Order Department, American Psychological Association, P.O. Box 92984, Washington, DC 20090 or by clicking here.

Notes. Notes should be used rarely. They must should be double-spaced and numbered consecutively on a separate sheet following the references.

C) Figures and Tables. Figures and tables of all kinds such as charts and graphs should be kept to a minimum, and each should convey important information that adds to the manuscript. Each figure should be provided on a separate page, but multiple tables or multiple figures may be included in one document. When uploading to the system, select Table or Figure. The desired location of figures and tables should be noted in the text of the main document, and they should be numbered appropriately so that they correspond to mention of them in the text.

D) Online Supplemental Files. In order to keep your submission to 30 pages, you may consider providing online supplemental files. These could be non-critical tables or other information extricated from your main document that could stand on its own. For example, some recent authors designated their training protocol, demographic charts, and other material suitable as supplementary files (e.g., see Willis, Walters, & Crane, 2014 at

OnlineOpen is available to authors of primary research articles who wish to make their article available to non-subscribers on publication, or whose funding agency requires grantees to archive the final version of their article. With OnlineOpen, the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution pays a fee to ensure that the article is made available to non-subscribers upon publication via Wiley Online Library, as well as deposited in the funding agency's preferred archive. For the full list of terms and conditions, see

Any authors wishing to send their paper OnlineOpen will be required to complete the payment form available from our website at:

Prior to acceptance there is no requirement to inform an Editorial Office that you intend to publish your paper OnlineOpen if you do not wish to. All OnlineOpen articles are treated in the same way as any other article. They go through the journal's standard peer-review process and will be accepted or rejected based on their own merit.


Subscriptions are handled by AAMFT’s business office. Inquiries should be addressed to: JMFT, 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3061. Phone: 703-838-9808, email: