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Psychology - Psychology & Law | Improving the Quality of Child Custody Evaluations - A Systematic Model

Improving the Quality of Child Custody Evaluations

A Systematic Model

Woodward Tolle, Lauren, O'Donohue, William

2012, XII, 188 p.

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  • ​​​​ Discusses the past and current state of science regarding child custody evaluations with a focus on the construct of the best interest  of the child 
  • Proposes a preliminary model (the Egregious/Promotive Factors Model)  in order to conduct improved child custody evaluations Identifies and reviews psychological assessments that can reliably measure risk and promotive factors to support the Egregious/Promotive Factors Model ​

Improving the Quality of Child Custody Evaluations
A Systematic Model

Lauren Woodward Tolle, Ph.D. and William O’Donohue, Ph.D.

In the best interests of the child. This phrase has guided child custody evaluators for decades. But how do the professionals tasked with evaluation understand a child’s best interests? Can it be assumed that two evaluators will come to the same decision given the same case? What evidence-based methods are—or should be—involved?

Improving the Quality of Child Custody Evaluations raises significant questions of accuracy, reliability, and validity in the way even the best-intentioned evaluations are conducted, and proposes standardized guidelines for correction. Identifying conceptual as well as empirical shortcomings in the evaluation process, the authors analyze the current state of custody evaluation protocols and the welter of laws surrounding the concept of the best interests of the child. An empirically-based framework, the Egregious/Promotive Factors Model, is presented as a reliable alternative, supported by rigorous assessment tools and backed by the results of a pilot study of the model among family court judges. Throughout, the book never loses sight of the optimum end result: a reliable foundation for children’s future well-being. Included in the coverage: 

  • Current controversies in custody arrangements.
  • Current controversies in custody guidelines.
  • Review of the post-divorce child outcome literature.
  • Evolution of the Egregious/Promotive Factors Model (EPFM).
  • Assessing risk and positive factors in parenting.
  • Preliminary support for the EPFM.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Child abuse - Child custody evaluations - Custody arrangement controversies - Excessive interparental conflict - Father's rights movement - Parent mental health problems - Parent school involvement - Parent-child relationships - Parenting alliance measure - Parenting relationship questionnaire - Parenting skills - Same sex custody - The child behavior - The parenting stress index

Related subjects » Psychology & Law - Social Sciences

Table of contents 

Introduction.- Past and current state of the field.- Review of child outcome literature.- Development of the egregious/promotive factors model.- The present study.- Methodology.- Results.- Discussion.

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