Under UMN Prof's Direction, a Name Change for the Journal of Abnormal Psychology
Angus MacDonald advocated for removing the word "abnormal" from the journal's title
January 13, 2021
Stigma has been an enduring problem among consumers of mental health services, and it is a way people who suffer from distressing symptoms are further traumatized.
Distinguished McKnight University Professor Angus MacDonald III is serving the American Psychological Association (APA) as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, which is the flagship journal for psychopathology with a century-long tradition of publishing high-impact research in psychopathology and clinical science with a global reach. However, it is increasingly clear that the word "abnormal" has negative connotations that contribute to the very stigma this research aims to address.
Under MacDonald's tenure as Editor-in-Chief, he has advocated for the APA to approve a title change that will remove the term "abnormal" from its title for the first time in its 115-year history. The new title will be the Journal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science. This change is small, but it reflects a growing awareness in the community of the need to support people who suffer from mental health concerns, and, conversely, that "normalcy" itself is an old-fashioned notion.
"This is a milestone that highlights a shift in the field's concerns about these issues," says MacDonald. "Of course more is necessary. Hopefully, steps like this serve as a reminder to scholars about the importance of this work—which is to help people who are traditionally marginalized."