What is it about?
Language changes and that change can contribute to stigmatizing mental illness. The new title is the Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science. This reflects our editorial boards’ best efforts to anticipate, and perhaps avoid, the terminology treadmill. The term psychopathology has been around for almost 2 centuries, and it has not yet accrued stigma. Perhaps this is because it labels the study of mental illness, rather than those who suffer from it. It also acknowledges a sentiment that people with mental illnesses express in a number of different ways—that they suffer from something exceptional, deserving of understanding and treatment. Clinical Science, the other component of the title, recognizes the full continuum of traits, risk factors, stressors, and other exposures can lead to, co-occur with, or are consequences of psychopathology. Both terms reflect our interest in the mechanisms that undergird the suffering of so many.
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Why is it important?
Stigma and mental illness is a problem that increases the burden of mental illness by contributing to undertreatment and increasing the isolation of those in our society most at risk; this shift in language recognizes how common mental illness can be, and why it is inappropriate to call them "abnormal"
Read the Original
This page is a summary of: The Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science is the future of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology: An editorial., Journal of Abnormal Psychology, January 2021, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/abn0000665.
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Follow-up editorial: new titles can give new perspectives: Reflections on language and equity in clinical science
Rebranding of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology as the Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science is insufficient, and will not move the dial on the stigma and discrimination against people suffering from mental illness without a good deal more effort on the part of our community of scholars. In this editorial to inaugurate the new title of this Journal, coauthored by the prompter of this change along with the current editor, we unpack ways in which researchers can be mindful of language, research practices such as representation, and advocacy to promote a healthier science going forward.
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