Family Relations Manuscript Preparation

Family Relations follows the guidelines of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition. Please also consult the Family Relations style guide.

General Formatting Original Manuscript

  • Double-space all parts of the manuscript, including abstract, quotes, references, and tables.
  • The components of the manuscript should be arranged in the following order:
  1. MS Title Page
  2. Structured Abstract (Objective, Background, Method, Results, Conclusion, Implications)
  3. Text of article with sections including: Methods, Results, Discussion, and Implications
  4. Notes (Place notes indicating grant support on the title page.)
  5. Reference list (APA style)
  6. Tables (if any)
  7. Figure titles & figures (if any)
  8. Appendices (if any)
  • See the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition, Crediting Sources section for guidelines for citing works in text and the Reference Examples section for preparing the reference page.

Tables & Figures

  • Insert a Table or Figure location note in the body of the manuscript following the first mention of a table or figure in text (e.g., Table 1 about here, or Figure 1 about here).
  • Figures must be high quality laser prints or camera-ready prints. Include one laser print or camera-ready print of each figure at the time of acceptance.
  • Titles and notes to Figures must be typed, double-spaced, on a separate manuscript page.
  • Tables and Figures should be kept to a minimum (see the APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition, Displaying Results section).
  • Format for Tables

Manuscript Length

  • Use 1-inch margins.
  • Use the following fonts and corresponding point sizes: Calibri 11, Arial 11, Lucida Sans Unicode 10, Times New Roman 12, or Georgia 11.
  • Taken together, title page, abstract, text, references, and tables and figures, should be approximately 35 double-spaced manuscript pages in total.


  • Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) and URLs are now formatted the same way. Both are presented as hyperlinks and the label DOI is no longer needed; the words “Retrieved from” are only used when the retrieval date is also needed.

Additional Items Required

  • Title should be no longer than 12 words in length.
  • A structured Abstract up to 200 words in length should precede the body of the paper. Use the headings: Objective, Background, Method, Results, Conclusion, Implications.
  • Immediately below the Abstract, list up to six key words, in alphabetical order, by which the paper may be indexed.
  • Family Relations articles no longer carry footnotes, although a brief note acknowledging grant assistance, and/or previous presentation may be placed at the bottom of the title page.

Brief Reports Manuscripts

  1. Title Page
  2. Structured Abstract using the headings: Objective, Background, Method, Results, Conclusion, Implications for Emerging Ideas and Translating Discovery Science; Objective, Background, Experience, Conclusion, Implications for Letters from the Field.
  3. Text of Emerging Ideas and Translating Discovery Science manuscript with sections including: Methods, Results, Discussion, and Implications; Text of Lessons from the Field manuscript with sections including: Objective, Background, Experience, Conclusion, and Implications.
  4. Reference List (up to 20 references)
  5. Tables and Figures (up to a combined total of 4)

Brief Report Manuscript Checklist:

  • Manuscripts can be up to 3000 words, not inclusive of title page, abstract, and references, a maximum of 20 references, and up to a combined total of 4 figures or tables. 
  • Background information and introduction of objective and goals should be succinct, approximately 500 to 750 words. 
  • The method and results sections should be similar in detail and content as a full-length manuscript—providing the reader with a clear understanding of the work completed and reported.
  • The discussion section is replaced with a Conclusion/Implications section that clearly states a summary of the objective and how it contributes to next steps in advancing family science.