Call for Papers: Special Issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology


Integrating Development Into the RDoC Framework

Co-Editors: Sylia Wilson, C. Emily Durbin, Angus MacDonald

The Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework is intended to spur research investigating psychopathology (Insel et al., 2010). This framework has led to a matrix that specifies six major domains (negative valence, positive valence, cognitive, social processes, arousal/regulatory, sensorimotor) composed of constructs measurable across multiple units of analysis. The RDoC framework explicitly emphasizes the critical importance of understanding developmental trajectories across various phases of the lifespan (a “third dimension” in the matrix), but there has been relatively little emphasis on integrating developmental approaches into the RDoC framework (for notable exceptions, see Casey, Oliveri, & Insel, 2014; Franklin, Jamieson, Glenn, & Nock, 2015; Garvey, Avenevoli, & Anderson, 2016; Mittal & Wakschlag, 2017). In this Special Issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, we seek to catalyze and promote empirical research that integrates development into the RDoC framework.

Papers in this Special Issue will bring a developmental perspective to the RDoC matrix as it is currently construed, examine gaps in its current conceptualization, and suggest refinements to better integrate development across all types of psychopathology. Many such papers will focus on infancy, childhood and adolescence, but we welcome papers that fit into a lifespan developmental perspective that consider (for example) early premorbid deviations in key systems that predict psychopathology in later developmental periods, how presentations in these systems might differ at different ages or at different stages of illness onset and progression, and outcomes of deviations in these systems into adulthood. We are interested in papers that consider conceptual, methodological, and analytic approaches to addressing measurement of RDoC constructs across development, including issues of measurement invariance, measurement equivalence, and sensitivity to change over time/development. We are also interested in papers that consider other manifestations than age as a proxy for development, including pubertal maturation, developmental context, and timing of developmental transitions. Although we expect the included papers to inform our understanding of abnormal processes underlying psychopathology (developmental delays, deficits, deviations, regressions in function), we may consider papers on typical development with sufficiently large samples to robustly inform how development might go awry. In keeping with the RDoC conceptualization of psychopathology, we expect many papers will be transdiagnostic, though we are also interested in papers that speak to how differences or interactions across systems might lead to different symptom presentations (and DSM diagnoses). We welcome papers on psychometric and quantitative approaches to validating the methods and measurement strategies in the current RDoC matrix. Finally, we are also interested in how environments and other contextual factors may shape adaptive and maladaptive development.

Abstract Submission

Please send an abstract (250 words or fewer) of a proposed submission by October 1, 2019 via e-mail. Full submissions will be due March 1, 2020. Do not send a completed manuscript without approval of the abstract. All submissions for this Special Section will go through the normal peer-review process, with no guarantee of acceptance. All submissions must comply with APA policies, including certification of compliance with APA ethical principles for research, the prohibition of multiple submissions and duplicate publication, authors’ obligation to retain raw data, and other requirements for submission to the Journal of Abnormal Psychology as noted on the submission site.

Additional information the APA Website


Casey, B. J., Oliveri, M. E., & Insel, T. (2014). A neurodevelopmental perspective on the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) framework. Biological Psychiatry, 76, 350-353.

Franklin, J. C., Jamieson, J. P., Glenn, C. R., & Nock, M. K. (2015). How developmental psychopathology theory and research can inform the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, 44, 280-290.

Garvey, M., Avenevoli, S., & Anderson, K. (2016). The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria and clinical research in child and adolescent psychiatry. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 55, 93-98.

Mittal, V. A., & Wakschlag, L. S. (2017). Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) grows up: Strengthening neurodevelopmental investigation within the RDoC framework. Journal of Affective Disorders, 216, 30-35.