By Robert M. Galatzer-Levy

The criminal method calls for psychological overall healthiness pros to supply study summaries to aid their reviews in baby custody instances. Contributions from best developmental researchers, lawyers, and clinicians describe how medical facts is correctly utilized in court docket. well timed and present, this booklet is helping evaluators entry the easiest details to meet their duties to their consumers and the court docket. the second one variation provides chapters on relations remark, parental alienation, and sexual abuse. Forensic psychologists, relatives legal professionals, and judges can be outfitted with the most up-tp-date info to assist in custody judgements.

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Extra resources for The Scientific Basis of Child Custody Decisions

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It is usually difficult to extract meaningful patterns from the welter of information with which an investigator is confronted. For example, we might observe declining school performance in youngsters following divorce. We would want to determine the relationship of this finding to possible specific changes in the children’s behavior (inattention in class, decreased attendance, indifference to good performance, unavailability of parental support in doing academic work) and the changes in the children’s environment (the fact of divorce, change of residence, parental reactions to divorce, community reaction to divorce).

It is important for all those concerned to treat these opinions for what they are worth. They may be of considerable value, reflecting accumulated knowledge based on real situations. However, opinions are subject to a variety of problems and rarely reflect the systematic collection of data characteristic of scientific investigation. When the expert does not recognize these limitations it causes problems. The opinion may reflect the expert’s experience with a special subpopulation; for example, a mental health professional who works with emotionally ill adults who were abused as children is likely to believe that abuse usually has devastating psychological effects because the abused individuals he or she sees are all psychologically disturbed.

The interpretations of these facts was not a matter of authority but was based on the possibility that any adequately trained person could make the same observations and that the chain of reasoning from facts to interpretation could be made explicit. Over the past four centuries, but especially in the twentieth century, scientists and philosophers of science refined and debated these core questions of what methods are scientific and when an investigation is properly labeled as such. The resulting ideas are both more technically demanding and more controversial than the Supreme Court’s decision suggests.

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