A focused look at the uses—and misuses—of psychological tests in the context of child custody This book presents an advanced examination of psychological testing and usage in the child custody arena. It addresses test selection issues, provides insightful discussions of how to confront confirmatory biases and avoid the distortion of test findings, and presents clear instructions for the use of specific tests, including MMPI-2 and Rorschach, and a point/counterpoint discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the Ackerman-Schoendorf Scales for Parent Evaluation of Custody (ASPECT). Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations can be viewed as a work in three parts. The first section addresses theoretical and test usage issues, with chapters focusing on: addressing test selection issues from legal and psychological perspectives bias issues that interfere with the evaluator’s ability to collect and consider data objectively a functional, comprehensive approach to the use of psychological tests in a child custody evaluation—with a conceptual framework for choosing assessment techniques to assess parenting competencies and other variables important in forming opinions about custodial placement and visitation access, and a practical example of how to present psychological test data in an advisory report to the court a look at psychological testing from an attorney’s point of view The second section of Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations focuses on the MMPI-2 and the Rorschach Inkblot Test in the child custody context, investigating hypotheses that can be inferred from the MMPI-2 regarding parenting behaviors, and the use and value of the Rorschach. This section examines: the foundation from which the MMPI-2 can generate expectations regarding five basic issues—the quality of attachment and bonding, potential for antisocial behavior, temper control, alienation of affection, and chemical abuse and dependence the range of variables that will generate useful hypotheses regarding parent-child interactions and family systems the effects of the circumstances of litigation on score elevations—including recommended limits as to how much elevation can be dismissed as only contextual the important differences between occasion validity and attribute validity the clinical application of an objective interpretation system, including the courtroom credibility of explicit convergent validity the use of the Rorschach in child custody evaluations findings from a study using the Rorschach to address specific parenting variables The third section of Psychological Testing in Child Custody Evaluations is a focused point-counterpoint discussion of ASPECT, between test creator Marc J. Ackerman and Mary Connell, President of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology. This book is essential reading for child custody evaluators, family law attorneys, and judges practicing in the family law arena, as well as educators and students in these fields.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the theory and practice of Forensic Psychology in civil and criminal litigation. Attention is given to broad issues of capacity, competency, and responsibility as well as to such specific topics in the field as eyewitness and expert testimony, jury selection and influence, and violence prediction.
This book is a combination of two previously published books by Phil Stahl/Sage, Conducting Child Custody Evaluations and Complex Issues in Child Custody Evaluations. The book was written as a guide to help students and practitioners walk through the process of conducting a child custody evaluation, a critical skill for a variety of mental health practitioners. The book will cover the mental health expert's many possible roles as a therapist, mediator, evaluator, consultant to attorneys, expert witness, and more. It also address the best interest of the child, legal custody and time share, divorce and its impact on children, and children's developmental needs. The second part takes a step-by-step approach on how to conduct the evaluation, including how to work with children and parents, psychological testing, and writing up the report. The final part, complex issues, draws from the 1999 book, and covers issues such as domestic violence, non-violent high-conflict homes, relocation, special needs children, substance abuse, cultural issues and the alienated child. The author's writing style is friendly and easy to read, making complex material easy to comprehend and implement.
A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals and Lawyers
Author: Gary B. Melton
Publisher: Guilford Press
This is the definitive reference and text for both mental health and legal professionals. The authors offer a uniquely comprehensive discussion of the legal and clinical contexts of forensic assessment, along with best-practice guidelines for participating effectively and ethically in a wide range of criminal and civil proceedings. Presented are findings, instruments, and procedures related to criminal and civil competencies, civil commitment, sentencing, personal injury claims, antidiscrimination laws, child custody, juvenile justice, and more.
"A must-have book on custody evaluations. . . . Philip Michael Stahl has done family law attorneys a great service by writing Conducting Child Custody Evaluations. . . . Dr. Stahl's book is a solid addition to the literature. It provides family law attorneys with the evaluator's perspective on the process, its purpose, and structure. Packed with examples that illustrate the author's points, the book is quite readable. . . . If you do custody work, this book is a must. You will find yourself using it continually as a resource and to share information with your clients. Dr. Stahl writes from experience and provides the perspective of a well-trained, thoughtful, ethical evaluator. He discusses the child custody evaluation process as I believe it should be--no wonder I liked the book so much." --M. Dee Samuels in Family Advocate Based on Philip Michael Stahl's extensive experience "in the trenches," Conducting Child Custody Evaluations presents a detailed examination of the many complex questions and issues involved in this process. Practical guidelines for completing evaluations are provided, including helpful information on interviewing parents and children, testifying in court, writing custody evaluations, working with attorneys, getting paid, and working in an ethical manner. Such fundamental concerns relating to divorce as the ability to parent, bonding and attachment of children and parents, the formulation of custody/access plans, and specific developmental issues are also addressed. Sensible, lucid, and insightful, this book is an important contribution to our understanding of how child custody evaluations are conducted and an excellent resource for psychologists, evaluators, social workers, family court and private mediators, judges, attorneys, and graduate students. "For those who need to know, for whatever reason, this is a valuable introduction, in comprehensive and surprizingly jargon-free detail, to a rarely considered topic." --Child & Family Behavior Therapy "This text is comprehensive, covering topics from interviewing children to how evaluators can stay current and experience professional renewal. It also has some very practical information relevant to anyone who performs child custody evaluations, from old hands to beginners. . . . This book is valuable to anyone interested in this subject: evaluators who seek to perform this task, attorneys who seek to understand the process of evaluation, judges who seek to evaluate the quality of an evaluation, and even parents who undergo such an evaluation. It presents a significant contribution to the field." --Family and Conciliation Courts Review "Conducting Child Custody Evaluations. . . is excellent. What makes this text so valuable is it is born of years of experience and reflects a more advanced vision about families following divorce. Both beginning and advanced evaluators will gain a great deal from reading this manual. It is both comprehensive and practical, capturing the essence and the spirit of performing this critical task. Even more importantly, it has several ideas about how evaluations can stay current and captures the value of a good evaluation on families, as well as the court. Nice work!" --Hugh McIsaac, Director, Family Court Services, Multnomah City Circuit Court, Portland, Oregon, and Editor, Family and Conciliation Courts Review "Dr. Stahl does a thorough, clear, and highly readable job of covering the complex arena of child custody evaluations, articulating the multiple demands on the evaluator, providing specific evaluation techniques for a range of referral questions, in addition to outlining extra-evaluation issues such as ethical concerns, the evaluator's relationship to the court, and burn-out. This is an excellent resource for both the new evaluator and those with expertise." --S. Margaret Lee, Ph.D., Private Practice, Greenbrae, California "Dr. Stahl is one of those rare professionals who neither talks down--or around--the problem. His book should be in the library of every serious family lawyer, family judge, and family evaluator." --John Kydd, J.D., M.S.W., and President Elect, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts "Anybody working on behalf of children in the civil courts could make good use of this text. Pay particular attention to chapters 5, 6 and 7, the appendices, and especially the specimen reports and excerpts. These are4 the heart of the book. And here Dr. Stahl's style is a model of clarity and simplicity." --Guy Mitchell in Legal and Criminological
Over the past five to 10 years, there has been a significant increase in the use of child custody evaluations by the courts. At the same time, the issues have become more complex and difficult. In this book, the author provides a theoretical and practical understanding of many of the issues. A key component is the integration of disparate research findings into a comprehensive resource that will enable the evaluator and the court to understand these complex issues. A second component is to provide a thorough understanding of the fact that divorce brings with it a set of complex needs, and evaluators and the courts must develop a paradigm for weighing these needs in a comprehensive manner.
Whether assessing general family functioning or specific areas of conflict, professionals preparing child custody evaluations require sound knowledge of three interrelated fields: up-to-date legal issues, psychological findings, and forensic procedures. This book covers these three essential areas to walk readers through the evaluation process clearly and concisely. It further provides a unique combination of legal guidelines with social science research.
Quickly acquire the knowledge and skills you need to confidently administer, score, and interpret the key assessment instruments used by forensic psychologists Mental health professionals are frequently called on to perform forensic assessments for a wide variety of court cases. To use these instruments properly, professionals need an authoritative source of advice and guidance on how to administer, score, and interpret them. Now fully revised and in a second edition, Essentials of Forensic Psychological Assessment is that source. The Second Edition is completely updated to reflect current research and theory in the field, including the most recent codes and standards published by the American Psychological Association. In addition, this volume offers updated coverage of the most frequently used instruments in forensic psychological assessments, including the MMPI®-2 and MMPI-2-RF, PAI®, Rorschach®, ASPECT, and various neuropsychological assessment instruments. Like all the volumes in the Essentials of Psychological Assessment series, this book is designed to help busy mental health practitioners, and those in training, quickly acquire the knowledge and skills they need to make optimal use of major psychological assessment instruments. Each concise chapter features numerous callout boxes highlighting key concepts, bulleted points, and extensive illustrative material, as well as test questions that help you gauge and reinforce your grasp of the information covered. Written by a noted forensic psychologist, the Second Edition offers in-depth coverage of maltreatment and domestic violence, as well as the assessment of recidivism, fitness to stand trial, civil commitment, substance abuse assessment, custody evaluations, personal injury assessments, and many other aspects of forensic mental health practice.
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.