Special Issue of JCCP

Call for papers: Special Issue on Prevention of Depression

Important dates

Abstracts (up to 500 words) due: October 1, 2023
Completed manuscripts due: February 1, 2024

Special issue guest editors

Tracy Gladstone, Brown University
Michael Silverstein, Brown University
Pim Cuijpers, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam


Depression is a highly prevalent, disabling, and costly disorder that is associated with considerably diminished quality of life, role functioning, medical comorbidity and mortality. Worldwide, 280 million people suffer from depression, making this the second leading cause of global years lived with disability. Treatment of existing depressive disorders is usually considered to be the most important strategy to reduce the disease burden of depression, but modeling studies have estimated that existing treatments can take away only one third of the disease burden at the population level. Prevention may be an alternative strategy to reduce the disease burden of depression. Three types of prevention can be distinguished: universal prevention, which is aimed at the general population or parts of the general population, regardless of whether they have a higher than average risk of developing a disorder (e.g., school programs or mass media campaigns); selective prevention, which is aimed at high-risk groups who have not yet developed a mental disorder; and indicated prevention, which is aimed at individuals who have some symptoms of a mental disorder but do not meet diagnostic criteria. All three types of prevention have been examined in a considerable number of studies, but important questions have not yet been answered and have limited the implementation and dissemination in routine practice. This Special Issue will include empirical papers that focus on any of the three types of prevention and report the results of state-of-the-art randomized trials,  meta-analyses, research on implementation and dissemination, or moderators, mediators and mechanisms of change. The Issue is also open to studies on basic psychological mechanisms that can be translated into preventive interventions and other novel original contributions that may fit the spirit of the Special Issue.

Additional Details

All submissions need to follow the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology guidelines for authors, including page limits. Submissions will be evaluated in a two-phase process. First, authors are asked to submit an abstract of up to 500 words by October 1, 2023 for an initial review of fit to the series. Second, following review by the guest editors, the authors of selected abstracts will be invited to submit a full manuscript through the  journal portal for masked peer review.

The deadline for the submission of the complete manuscripts is February 1, 2024. Note that an invitation to submit a full manuscript does not guarantee acceptance. The expected date for publishing the issue is February 2024 (accepted articles will be posted online as they are ready).

The abstracts should include the following sections and content: background – description of the purpose of the study; methods – description of the sample, study design, and measures; results – summary of the primary findings, or description of the analyses to be conducted; conclusions – description of the innovative contribution of the study. Theoretical submissions may use a narrative abstract (without formatting).

If questions remain before submitting an abstract, interested authors are encouraged to contact the guest editors of the special issue.