Families, Systems, & Health®

ISSN: 1091-7527
eISSN: 1939-0602
Published: quarterly, beginning in March
ISI Impact Factor: 1.039
Public, Environmental & Occupational Health : 97 of 136
This journal is a publication of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association

Journal Snapshot

Submit a Manuscript

Finding the family voice
from Monitor on Psychology, April 2013

Press Release
Eight Health Care Organizations Support Integrating Behavioral Health and Primary Care


Families, Systems, & Health ® is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal that publishes clinical research, training, and theoretical contributions in the areas of families and health, with particular focus on collaborative family healthcare.

Families, Systems, & Health® is a registered trademark of American Psychological Association
Editorial Board


Colleen T. Fogarty, MD, MSc
University of Rochester

Larry Mauksch, MEd
University of Washington School of Medicine

Associate Editors

Doug Brock, PhD
University of Washington

Todd M. Edwards, PhD
University of San Diego

Founding Editor

Donald A. Bloch, MD
New York, NY

Department Editors

Book & Media Reviews

William B. Gunn, Jr., PhD
New Hampshire Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency

Health Policy

Benjamin Miller, PsyD
University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine

Poetry & 55-Word Stories

Carol J. Edelstein
Gallery of Readers

Adam Possner
George Washington University

Johanna Shapiro
UC Irvine School of Medicine

Families, Systems, and Health in Our Lives

John Frey
University of Wisconsin

Randall Reitz, PhD
St. Mary's Family Medicine Residency, Grand Junction, CO

Former Editors

Donald A. Bloch, MD
New York, NY

Alexander Blount, EdD
University of Massachusetts Medical School

Thomas Campbell, MD
University of Rochester

Susan McDaniel, PhD
University of Rochester Medical Center

Editorial Board

Lucy M. Candib, MD
Family Health Center of Worcester; University of Massachusetts Medical School

Frank Verloin deGruy, III, MD, MSFM
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Perry Dickinson, MD
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Suzanne Feetham, PhD, RN, FAAN
Children's National Medical Center, Washington DC; University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Kevin Fiscella, MD, MPH
University of Rochester

Jeri Hepworth, PhD
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Christopher L. Hunter, PhD, ABPP
TRICARE Management Agency

Anne Kazak, PhD, ABPP
A.I. du Pont Hospital for Children

Patricia Lebensohn, PhD
University of Arizona

Tai Mendenhall, PhD, LMFT, CFT
University of Minnesota, Department of Family Social Science

JoEllen Patterson, PhD
University of San Diego

C. J. Peek
University of Minnesota Medical School

John Rolland, MD
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine

Nancy B. Ruddy, PhD
Mountainside Family Practice Residency

George W. Saba, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Cleveland Shields, PhD
Purdue University

William J. Sieber, PhD
University of California, San Diego

William B. Ventres, MD, MA
University of El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador

Editorial Coordinator

Amanda Conley
American Psychological Association

Abstracting & Indexing

Abstracting and indexing services providing coverage of Families, Systems, & Health®

  • Academic OneFile
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  • Alt-HealthWatch
  • Biomedical Reference Collection: Corporate
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  • Family Index
  • Family Studies Abstracts
  • General Reference Center Gold
  • Health & Wellness Resource Center
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  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition
  • InfoTrac Custom
  • Journals@Ovid
  • Nursing and Allied Health Collection
  • Nursing Resource Center
  • ProQuest Central
  • PsycINFO
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
  • PubMed
  • Sage Family Studies Abstracts
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • Sociological Collection
  • Student Resource Center Gold
  • SwetsWise All Titles
  • TOC Premier
Instructions to Authors

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.


Families, Systems, & Health seeks to develop the knowledge base of a systemic approach to healthcare that integrates mind and body; individual and family; and communities, clinicians, and health systems while considering cost-effectiveness and distributive justice.

The journal's scope includes the following three domains:

  • Family Functioning: emphasizes understanding health, illness, and treatment from birth to death within the family context rather than focusing on individuals in isolation. The term "family" is used broadly to include but not be limited to the legal, biological, or psychological family, household members unrelated by blood or marriage, and intimates who have a relationship over time.
  • Systems Thinking: an overarching concept that recognizes the interrelatedness of all human systems (e.g., biological, psychological, interpersonal, familial, societal, political, economic, cultural, spiritual). This perspective is useful in examining dynamics within a profession or among clinical staff, relationships among patients, families, communities, and clinical staff, and the coordination of care across levels of the health system.
  • Health:refers to the optimal state of the body, mind, and spirit of individuals, families, or communities. Healthcare includes the practice of all health professionals, including physicians, mental health professionals, nurses, pharmacists, and many other disciplines.

The journal provides a forum to examine clinical and program innovation, health policy, research, and evaluation of training. Families, Systems, & Health is the official peer-reviewed journal of the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association.

Manuscript Submission

Prior to submission, please review the submission guidelines detailed below. Please view the Manuscript Submission Checklist (PDF, 40KB) as a guide for submission. Authors must review all items on this checklist before submitting to the journal.

All manuscripts are considered on the understanding that they have not been published previously in print or electronic form and that they are not under consideration by another publication or medium. All manuscripts should respect patient confidentiality; research involving human subjects must include ethical approval.

Submit manuscripts electronically (.rtf, .doc, or .pdf) via the Manuscript Submission Portal.

Manuscript Submission Portal Entrance

Colleen T. Fogarty
Larry Mauksch
Co-Editors, Families, Systems, & Health

General correspondence and inquiries may be directed to the Manuscript Coordinator, Amanda Conley.

Authors may obtain a user ID and password on the first visit. Instructions and support for the submission process are available on the site.

All parts of the manuscript must be available in an electronic format; generic rich text format (.rtf), PDF, or Microsoft Word.

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.

When required, structured abstracts should follow the Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion (IMRAD) format.

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.

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

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

References in Text

Cite authors and dates of works used. First citation may include up to five authors; in subsequent citations of 3+ authors, state surname of first author, then et al. and the publication date, e.g., Jones et al. (1994). Multiple citations must be listed in alphabetical order.

Manuscript Criteria

All manuscripts should be concise, well organized, and clearly written using active voice to present ideas relevant to the Journal's scope: family functioning, systems thinking, and health, broadly defined. Manuscripts should address at least two of these three domains.

We welcome contributions from authors whose first language is not English and recommend that authors obtain professional assistance in written English prior to submission to ensure clarity, grammar, syntax, and organization.

Editorial and Peer-Review Process

One of the two editors reviews submitted manuscripts to assess quality and determine fit for the Journal. Articles sent out for peer review show potential to make a new and useful contribution to the literature.

Families, Systems, & Health uses a single-blinded review process; the author(s) is known to peer reviewers; peer reviewer identities are blinded to the author(s).

All accepted manuscripts are edited according to the journal's style and returned to the author as page proofs for approval. Authors take responsibility for all statements made in their work.

Manuscript Categories

Research Articles

Research articles report studies of clinical interventions, family function, educational innovations, and health system transformation.

Research manuscripts may contain up to 3,500 words and up to 6 tables or figures; manuscripts should be organized using the Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion (IMRAD) structure with references using APA Style.

Tables or figures should be used to display demographic data and results and to organize the presentation of other information (e.g., themes, concepts, implications) in a way that makes it easily digestible for the reader.

Include a structured abstract (IMRAD) of no more than 250 words.

We welcome qualitative and quantitative or mixed methods research; the paper should review the relevant literature, have clear rationales for chosen methods, and synthesize the significance of the findings to current thinking and practice.

The work must address at least two of the three domains of this Journal.

Human subject research reports must contain a statement that a research subjects review board or institutional review board has approved, or exempted from full review the study and include the full name of the institution's review board.

Brief Reports

These brief articles report important research findings from studies that may not be robust enough to justify submission as a research article but whose idea, preliminary results, and learning will be helpful to advance the field.

We encourage reporting both positive and negative outcomes and lessons learned. The work must address at least two of the three domains of this Journal.

Brief reports may contain up to 1,500 words, up to 3 tables or figures, a 250 word structured abstract, and up to 10 references.

Review Articles

Manuscripts may contain up to 3,500 words, 6 tables or figures, plus a structured abstract of no more than 250 words and references using the APA style.

We welcome systematic reviews covering two of the three journal domains.

Conceptual Articles

Conceptual articles present scholarly exploration of concepts related to family function, systems thinking, and health, broadly defined, and integrate relevant literature to advance the field.

These manuscripts may contain up to 3,000 words, 6 tables or figures, and an abstract of no more than 250 words and references using APA Style.


These papers contain up to 1,000 words and no more than 10 references; an abstract is not required.


Health Policy Briefs

Articles submitted to Families, Systems, & Health under the "Health Policy" section may contain up to 1,500 words and should be organized using the IMRAD structure with references included using APA Style. The policy brief should review the relevant literature, have a clear rationale for the methodology, integrate findings with current thinking and practice, and examine a suggestion and implications for policy change. The work must address at least two of the three domains of this Journal.

Families, Systems and Health In Our Lives

Families, Systems, & Health is committed to learning through the shared personal experience of healthcare professionals and patients. This section features well-crafted stories and reflections that explore health and illness, family function, and systems thinking about healthcare transition and transformation (e.g., collaborative experiences). Submissions should be relevant to at least two of these domains. These essays will contain up to 1,500 words, do not require an abstract, and will be peer reviewed.

Poetry and 55-Word Stories

Poetry and 55-word stories do not require an abstract.

Poetry may represent any style of verse, including free verse. Poems should be no longer than 50 lines.

55-word stories must contain exactly 55 words, excluding the title, which should not exceed 7 words.

If the author would like to submit more than 1 poem/55-word story, each piece should be submitted separately, unless they are linked thematically and should be considered as a single work. Each author should submit no more than 5 poems/55-word stories in a given calendar year.

The author has the option to include a short explanation with his/her piece. The explanation should be 75 words or less, pasted into the "Abstract" section in the submission site. If the poem/55 word story is accepted, the explanation will be published with the piece.

Both poems and 55-word stories will be peer reviewed based on fit with the journal mission, use of well-crafted language, and impact of the narrative.

Book and Media Reviews

Book and media reviews may contain up to 1,000 words and should include a brief synopsis of the book or media, and strengths and limitations of the resource. Book reviews are solicited and approved by the Book and Media Review Department Editor.

Cover Letter/Title Page

Both the cover letter and the title page of the manuscript should include the title, authors' names in order of contribution, and affiliations.

Designate a corresponding author and include address, e-mail, phone, and fax. A word count should also be included on the title page.

An author note on the title page should also indicate:

  • full names of authors, in the order of their institutional affiliations, with lead author listed first
  • affiliation and location during the study plus current affiliation and location if they have changed since the study
  • grant support or conflicts of interest the authors wish to acknowledge.

Please see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition) for further guidance on the format of an author note.

Editing and Final Proofs

After an article has been accepted for publication, it is edited for conformity of style to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.), clarity of presentation, coherence, punctuation, standard usage of terms, spelling, and so on.

The first author will receive the copyedited manuscript for review and must return it within two business days of receipt.

Reprint Orders

Authors may order reprints of their articles from the printer when they receive their copyedited manuscript for review.

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0028566
  • 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
  • Ethical Quandaries When Delivering Integrated Primary Care

    Special issue of the APA journal Families, Systems, & Health, Vol. 31, No. 1, March 2013. Includes articles about informed consent and confidentiality; patient and provider relationships; ethical issues in chronic pain, military settings, rural settings, and end of life decisions; and research and training issues.

  • The Patient Centered Medical Home

    Special issue of the APA journal Families, Systems & Health, Vol. 28, No. 4, December 2010. Articles discuss various issues in the patient-centered medical home, including incorporating disparate services; operational and clinical components; continuity of care; and more.

  • Primary Care-Mental Health Integration in the Department of Veterans Affairs

    Special issue of the APA journal Families, Systems, & Health, Vol. 28, No. 2, June 2010. Articles discuss various issues involved in integrating primary care and mental health care in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.