Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association
2005, Vol. 73, No. 1, 3–5
Annette M. La Greca
University of Miami
Along with the new teal cover, the current issue of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
(JCCP) marks the transition of the journal to a new editorial team. Although the discipline of clinical
psychology has a diversity of fine journals, JCCP has long been regarded as a premier journal for publishing
high-quality, empirical work in clinical psychology. The intention of the new editorial team is to continue the
long-established tradition of excellence for JCCP and to ensure its ongoing influence and responsiveness to
important innovations and new directions in contemporary clinical psychology.
Diversity and Culture
Clinical psychology is an extraordinarily diverse field, encompassing populations that span a broad
developmental range and that include diverse types of problems and pathologies; theoretical orientations;
settings; ethnic, gender, and sexual orientation characteristics; and systems of influence. As such, it is the
editorial team’s desire that the content of the journal reflect the diversity of topics and populations that are of
interest to clinical psychologists. In particular, we welcome papers that address issues of diversity and culture
in the context of important issues in clinical psychology. Moreover, to enhance reporting on diversity, we want
to ensure that authors provide appropriately detailed descriptions of participants that include characteristics
such as age, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. We ask that authors discuss the diversity of their
study samples and the generalizability of their findings (see Wilkinson & the Task Force on Statistical
Inference, 1999). Because of the applied nature of clinical psychology, issues of external validity, including
generalizability, are important considerations in evaluating a study’s contributions.
Clinical Relevance and Implications for Practice
Because both practitioners and researchers view the journal as an important source for new information
relevant to their work, the articles published in JCCP must reflect both good science and good practice. That
is, the articles should be empirically sound and have clearly articulated implications for clinical practice. Thus,
we request that contributors make concerted efforts to translate their research into practice, and to discuss
clinical implications of their findings explicitly, in addition to offering suggestions for further research.
Reporting of Clinical and Statistical Significance
The JCCP editorial team also is making diligent efforts to improve the statistical reporting of measures that
convey clinical significance. We now require that authors report means and standard deviations for all
continuous study variables and the effect sizes for the primary study findings. Note that the Publication
Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2001, pp. 25–26) emphasizes the importance of
reporting effect sizes in addition to the usual tests of statistical significance. Effect sizes, or similar statistics
such as “goodness-of-fit” indicators for structural equation modeling, can be generated by most statistical
packages that are used in the behavioral sciences. If effect sizes are not available for a particular test, then
authors should convey this in their cover letter at the time of submission. In addition, consistent with the
recommendations of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2001) and the
Task Force on Statistical Inference (Wilkinson & the Task Force on Statistical Inference, 1999), we ask that
authors report confidence intervals “for any effect sizes involving principal outcomes” (Wilkinson & the Task
Force on Statistical Inference, 1999, p. 599).
Although effect sizes are useful ways of communicating the magnitude of a treatment effect, they do not
necessarily communicate information about the clinical meaningfulness of an intervention (Jacobson & Truax,
Annette M. La Greca, Department of Psychology, University of Miami, P.O. Box 249229, Coral Gables, FL 33124-0751.
1991). For this reason, when reporting the results of interventions, authors should include both indicators of
effect sizes and of clinical meaningfulness.
Clinical significance “refers to the practical or applied value or importance of the effect of an intervention—
that is, whether the intervention makes a real (e.g., genuine, palpable, practical, noticeable) difference in
everyday life to the clients or to others with whom the client interacts” (Kazdin, 1999, p. 332). At the present
time, there is no consensus or gold standard for reporting clinical significance (Jacobson, Roberts, Berns, &
McGlinchey, 1999; Kazdin, 1999). However, authors are encouraged to use one of several approaches that
have been recommended for capturing clinical significance, including (but not limited to) the reliable change
index (i.e., whether the amount of change displayed by a treated individual is large enough to be meaningful;
Jacobson et al., 1999; Jacobson & Truax, 1991), the extent to which dysfunctional individuals show movement
into the functional distribution (Jacobson & Truax, 1991; Ogles, Lambert, & Sawyer, 1995), or other
normative comparisons (Kendall, Marrs-Garcia, Nath, & Sheldrick, 1999). The special section of JCCP on
clinical significance (Kendall, 1999) contains detailed and thoughtful discussions of clinical significance and
its measurement and should prove to be an excellent resource. In addition, the article by Fidler et al. (2005)
in this issue also offers specific suggestions for incorporating statistics that reflect the clinical magnitude of
Reporting of Randomized Clinical Trials
JCCP is especially interested in publishing high-quality, empirical contributions on the treatment of
disordered behavior. Consistent with the policy established by the Publications and Communications Board
of the American Psychological Association, JCCP requires the use of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting
Trials (CONSORT) reporting standards (i.e., a checklist and flow diagram) for randomized clinical trials.
CONSORT offers a standard way to improve the quality of such reports and ensures that readers have the basic
information necessary to evaluate the quality of a clinical trial (Moher, Schultz, & Altman, 2001). Authors
should review the criteria for reporting this evidence-based approach (www.consort-statement.org/).
Manuscripts that report on randomized clinical trials are required by JCCP to include a flow diagram of the
progress through the phases of the trial and a checklist (http://www.consortstatement.org/statement/
revisedstatement.htm#checklist) that identifies where in the manuscript the various criteria are addressed. (The
checklist should be placed in an appendix of the manuscript for review purposes.) When a study is not fully
consistent with the CONSORT statement, the limitations should be acknowledged and discussed in the text
of the manuscript.
Similar guidelines have been developed for nonrandomized designs that are often used in public health and
mental-health interventions, referred to as the Transparent Reporting of Evaluations with Nonrandomized
Designs (TREND) statement. TREND is still undergoing development. However, the JCCP editorial team
encourages the use of the recent TREND criteria for reporting the results of nonrandomized evaluations (see
Des Jarlais, Lyles, Crepaz, & the TREND Group, 2004) to improve the quality and consistency of such
Content and Format of Manuscripts
JCCP will continue to publish predominantly empirical research that focuses on the development, validity,
and use of techniques of diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disordered behavior. We welcome the
submission of authors’ best work on treatment and prevention in all areas of clinical and clinical– health
psychology, especially on topics that would appeal to a broad clinical–scientist and practitioner audience.
Studies that focus on populations that fall anywhere within the life span, from infants to the elderly, are
welcomed. We also welcome studies that help to broaden the evidentiary base for psychological services, such
as those on epidemiology, use of psychological services, and health care economics for behavioral health
disorders, when clear implications are drawn for clinical research and practice. In addition to empirical
research, we will consider critical analyses and meta-analyses of treatment approaches on topics of broad
theoretical, methodological, or practical interest to the field of clinical psychology. We encourage authors to
consult the journal description (http://www.apa.org/journals/ccp.description.html) to determine whether their
papers are an appropriate fit for JCCP.
As in the past, JCCP will continue publishing special sections that are of current topical interest to our
readers. We welcome ideas for special sections, especially for topics that span a broad developmental age
range. At present, three special sections are in progress: Cultural and Community Psychology: Expanding
Horizons of Mental Health and Competence, Attachment Theory and Psychotherapy, and Benefit Finding or
Growth Following Highly Stressful or Traumatic Life Events. In addition, manuscripts will be grouped
thematically within each issue whenever possible.
Aside from special sections, unsolicited full-length manuscripts are the mainstay of the journal. JCCP
receives approximately 400 unsolicited, new submissions each year and is able to accept only a relatively
small percentage of them, as there are limits on the number of pages that can be published annually. The high
submission rate, coupled with the low acceptance rate, helps to ensure that JCCP considers and publishes
excellent papers through selectivity but poses a challenge to review and provide feedback in timely and
To ensure that their papers receive the best possible review, we urge authors to prepare manuscripts using
the most recent (5th) edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA,
2001; see http://www.apastyle.org/). Please note that the submission guidelines indicate that a manuscript
should be no longer than 35 pages total (prepared in 12-point standard font, such as Times New Roman). This
guideline is intended to increase the number and quality (i.e., succinct, focused, readable) of the papers
published in JCCP. Manuscripts that deviate substantially from the submission guidelines may be returned
In addition to full-length manuscripts, brief reports are welcome. The brief report format may be especially
appropriate for empirically sound studies that are limited in scope, contain novel or provocative findings that
need further replication or development, or represent replications and extensions of prior published work.
Detailed instructions for preparing both full-length manuscripts and brief reports can be found elsewhere in
this issue and at http://www.apa.org/journals/ccp/submission.html.
In closing, the new JCCP editorial team is excited and honored by the tasks and challenges ahead. We
welcome the opportunity to contribute to the future of clinical psychology and to advance the field and its
applications. We hope that many of you will join us as authors and reviewers in this process.
Annette M. La Greca, Editor
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).
Washington, DC: Author.
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ized evaluations of behavioral and public health interventions: The TREND Statement. American Journal of Pub-
lic Health, 94, 361–366. Retrieved September 15, 2004, from http://www.trend-statement.org/asp/statement.asp
Fidler, F., Cumming, G., Thomason, N., Pannuzzo, D., Smith, J., Fyffe, P., et al. (2005). Toward improved statistical
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significance of treatment effects: Description, application, and alternatives. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychol-
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psychotherapy research. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 59, 12–19.
Kazdin, A. E. (1999). The meanings and measurement of clinical significance. Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology, 67, 332–339.
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Kendall, P. C., Marrs-Garcia, A., Nath, S. R., & Sheldrick, R. C. (1999). Normative comparisons for the evaluation of
clinical significance. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 285–299.
Moher, N., Schultz, K. F., & Altman, D. (2001). The CONSORT statement: Revised recommendations for improving the
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Ogles, B. M., Lambert, M. J., & Sawyer, J. D. (1995). Clinical significance of the National Institute of Mental Health
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