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The Scientific Basis of Child Custody Decisions, 2nd Edition

The Scientific Basis of Child Custody Decisions, 2nd Edition




The legal system requires mental health professionals to provide research summaries to support their evaluations in child custody cases. Contributions from leading developmental researchers, legal professionals, and clinicians describe how scientific evidence is properly used in court. Timely and current, this book helps evaluators access the best information to fulfill their obligations to their clients and the court. The Second Edition adds chapters on family observation, parental alienation, and sexual abuse. Forensic psychologists, family lawyers, and judges will be equipped with the most current information to aid in custody decisions.

Preface vii

Preface to the Second Edition xi

Introduction xiii
Robert M. Galatzer-Levy

References xxiv

Contributors xxvii

1 From Empirical Findings to Custody Evaluations 1
Robert M. Galatzer-Levy, Jonathan Gould, and David Martindale

2 Legal and Ethical Issues in Child Custody Evaluations 49
David A. Martindale and Norman M. Sheresky

3 Observations of Parents, Caretakers, and Children for Child Custody Assessment 71
Anita Lampl

4 Use of Psychological Tests in Child Custody Evaluations 85
Jonathan Gould, David A. Martindale, and James R. Flens

5 An Updated Review of the Effects of System and Estimator Variables on Child Witness Accuracy in Custody Cases 125
Bradley D. McAuliff, Margaret Bull Kovera, and Livia L. Gilstrap

6 The Importance of Attachment in Custody Evaluations: Toward the Best Interest of the Child 165
Louis Kraus and Kayla Pope

7 Improving the Quality of Parent-Child Contact in Separating Families with Infants and Young Children:Empirical Research Foundations 187
Michael E. Lamb and Joan B. Kell

8 Divorce, Custody, and Visitation in Middle Childhood 215
Louis Kraus, Robin Shapiro, and Robert M. Galatzer-Levy

9 Custody Evaluations of Adolescents 241
Sarghi Sharma and Christopher Thomas

10 Adopted Children and Custody Arrangements 253
Susan M. Fisher

11 Medically Ill Children and Adolescents 263
Brenda Bursch

12 Parental Sexual Orientation, Social Science Research, and Child Custody Decisions 285
Charlotte J. Patterson

13 Child Custody Evaluations of Parents with Major Psychiatric Disorders 307
Michael J. Jenuwine and Bertram J. Cohler

14 Child Adjustment and High-Conflict Divorce 353
Robin M. Deutsch and Marsha Kline Pruett

15 Evaluating Child Sexual Abuse Allegations 375
Kathryn Kuehnle and Mary Connell

16 Rejection in Cases of Abuse or Alienation in Divorcing Families 403
Leslie M. Drozd

17 Joint Custody: A Judicious Choice for Families—But How, When, and Why? 417
Marsha Kline Pruett and Carrie Barker

18 Conclusions and Prospects 463
Robert M. Galatzer-Levy

Author Index 469

Subject Index 487