Journal of Family Theory & Review

Cover image for Vol. 8 Issue 4

Edited By: Editor: Libby Balter Blume; Associate Editors: Ramona Faith Oswald, Cheryl Buehler, Sandra M. Stith; Assistant Editor: Purvi J. Parikh; Book Review Editor: Tessa LeRoux; Digital Scholarship Editor: Robert Hughes, Jr.; Editorial Advisory Council: Pauline Boss, Robert Milardo, Anisa Zvonkovic

Impact Factor: 1.829

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 10/43 (Family Studies)

Online ISSN: 1756-2589

Associated Title(s): Family Relations, Journal of Marriage and Family

Author Guidelines

The Journal of Family Theory & Review (JFTR) publishes original contributions in all areas of family theory, including advances in theory development, critical analyses and reviews of existing theory, new applications of theory, new interpretations of conceptual positions or concepts once thought to be distinct, essays in the conduct of theory construction, and analyses of the interface of theory and method.  In addition, we are equally committed to publishing integrative reviews of existing research.  Unlike many neighboring disciplines we have paired publishing integrative reviews with new developments in theory because they are so intimately tied together in the generation and interpretation of knowledge about families. 

The overall design, method and focus of reviews can vary widely but generally takes one of several forms.    Reviews can center on a particular question and critically evaluate the available evidence.  Integrative reviews can develop new models for organizing and interpreting a literature, compare the application of several existing models, or assess the support for a particular theoretical model.  In addition, reviews can direct future inquires by offering a critical analysis of a particular topic, evaluating the available evidence, the kinds of questions that are addressed or not addressed, the range of methods utilized, and the kinds of data generated.  Whatever the purpose or method the most useful reviews are theory-based, well balanced, organized, comprehensive, critical, and written for a broad audience.  The most useful reviews advance understanding rather than reiterate what is already known.   Comprehensive work that provides a historical review of theory development or a historical review of a particular research area is only appropriate to the extent that the work presents new knowledge, or a new understanding of existing knowledge.  

The architectural themes underlying our mission are rooted in a firm commitment to developing the field of family studies with innovations in theory and critical reviews leading to the integration and full development of a cumulative knowledge base.   This architecture also permits an opportunity for innovation in creating new methods for developing theory, as well as new methods for directing the conduct of literature reviews.   The journal welcomes publishing advances in the methods of theory development, as well as advances in the methods for conducting integrative reviews.   Although we wish to encourage meta-analyses where appropriate, for some purposes empirically based meta-analyses are ineffective.  Narrative reviews, or what are often called systematic reviews, are particularly useful when the interest is in critically evaluating a research literature and especially from the viewpoint of one or more theoretical positions, as well as in cases where diverse methods are applied or where changes in methods have occurred over time.  In either the case of an empirically based review or a narrative review, two essentials are important.  Reviews should have a strong conceptual basis and aim to advance theory, and secondly reviews should be based upon a systematic analysis and clear statement of method (e.g., how articles for review were selected).   The journal welcomes publishing innovations in the development of the methods for conducting reviews as well as pedagogical contributions that describe best practices in the reporting of reviews.  

Other than meta-analyses, the journal does not publish articles in which the focus is largely upon the presentation of empirical data.  No doubt there will be exceptions.  I can imagine an empirical work that directly assesses the use of theory in a particular substantive domain as appropriate for the journal; for instance an analysis of how theory is used or not used to drive inquiries of relationship quality.  Such inquiries are likely to be of special interest to the journal when they clearly demonstrate the impact of theory on the generation of knowledge, while purely descriptive analyses would be of less interest (e.g., whether theory drives research on relationships quality).

Potential authors are encouraged to contact the editor with any questions regarding the development of potential contributions.

JFTR considers book reviews as an important part of our mission. Authors who wish to have their books reviewed, or those who wish to write a review are encouraged to contact the book review editor.

Manuscripts should be submitted online at Full instructions and support are available on the site and a user ID and password can be obtained on the first visit. Support can be contacted by phone ( 1 434 817 2040 ), or by email vis the red, Get Help Now link in the top right-hand corner of the login screen.

Note to Contributors on Deposit of Accepted Version
Authors are permitted to self-archive the peer-reviewed (but not final) version of the Contribution on the Contributor’s personal website, in the Contributor’s company/institutional repository or archive, and in certain not for profit subject-based repositories such as PubMed Central as listed at the following website:, subject to an embargo period of 12 months for scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals and 24 months for social science and humanities (SSH) journals following publication of the final Contribution.

There are separate arrangements with certain funding agencies governing reuse of this version as set forth at the following website:

The Contributor may not update the accepted version or replace it with the published Contribution.

For authors choosing OnlineOpen
Choosing OnlineOpen makes your article open access and freely available to all on Wiley Online Library, including those who don’t subscribe to the journal. OnlineOpen fulfills funding agency mandates that require grantees to archive the final version of their article. Wiley will also deposit your OnlineOpen article in PubMed Central and PMC mirror sites.

The cost for OnlineOpen is usually US$3,000, which can be paid by the author, the author's funding agency, or the author's institution.

Copyright and open access licenses
Authors choosing OnlineOpen will retain copyright in their articles and will be offered a choice of creative commons licenses.

For more information about open access license terms and conditions click here.

Compliant with funder mandates - Open Access policies
OnlineOpen is fully compliant with open access mandates – meeting the requirements of funding organizations where these apply, including but not limited to:

  • Research Councils UK: MRC, BBSRC, AHRC, ESRC, EPSRC, NERC, STFC
  • The Wellcome Trust
  • Austrian Science Fund
  • Telethon Italy
  • NIH
  • The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

For more information on funder mandates and open access policies please click here.

Obtaining a CC license agreement to sign
As the author, you can decide to publish your article with open access once it has been accepted for publication.
After acceptance please inform the journal’s editorial office that you want your article to be OnlineOpen so they can provide you with the appropriate CC license agreement to sign to publish your article under a Creative Commons license and please complete the payment of an open access publication fee of US$3000 via the OnlineOpen Form.

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.