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Developmental Psychology for Family Law Professionals

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Developmental Psychology for Family Law Professionals

SKU# 9780826105257

Theory, Application and the Best Interests of the Child

Author: Benjamin Garber PhD


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[T]he best and most useful social science text I have read in a decadeÖ.It is comprehensive in its research and scope, clearly written and uses excellent case studies and examples to illustrate in simple terms what might otherwise be complex phenomena.

--Dr. Tom Altobelli
Federal Magistrate, Family Law Courts
Sydney, Australia

The goal of every family law professional and mental health practitioner is to improve family court outcomes in the best interests of the child. This book will assist readers in meeting this critical goal. Developmental Psychology for Family Law Professionals serves as a practical application of developmental theory to the practice of family law.

This book helps family law and mental health professionals gain a broader understanding of each child's unique needs when in the midst of family crisis. It presents developmental theories with which professionals might better assess the developmental needs, synchronies, and trajectories of a given child. Ultimately, this book presents guidelines for making appropriate legal decisions and recommendations for children who have experienced crises such as abuse, neglect, relocation, divorce, and much more.

Key topics include:

  • Custodial schedules
  • Foster and adoptive care
  • Post-divorce disputes
  • Termination of parental rights
  • Psychological assessment and diagnosis
  • Incarcerated parents and visitation rights
  • Relocation and "distance parenting"
  • Visitation resistance and refusal/reunification
  • Parental Alienation/alignment and estrangement
  • Theories of cognitive, language, and social development

Product Details 

  • Publication Date September 09, 2009
  • Page Count 408
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826105257
  • EISBN 9780826105264

Table of Contents 

Introduction: Why a Perspective on Child and Family Development?

Part One: Child and Family Development for Family Law Professionals
1. Who are the Children Who Come Before the Courts?
2. In re: Frye and Daubert
3. An Historical View of the Child: From Chattel to "Mini-me"
4. Theorists in Brief: Piaget, Erikson, Kohlberg
5. Attachment Theory
6. The Best Interests of the Child (Re-)Defined

Part Two: Common Themes in Child and Family Development Applied
7. Seven Rules That Shape Development
8. Today, Tomorrow and Forever: The Child's Developing Sense of Time
9. Me or You? The Child's Developing Sense of Self Versus Non-Self
10. Blankies, Binkies and the Child's Developing Capacity to Tolerate Separation
11. Impulse Control and the Child's Developing Capacity to Delay Gratification
12. "It Wasn't Me!" Imaginary Friends and the Child's Developing Capacity to Accept Responsibility
13. "I'm Outa' Here": The Teenager's Angry and Ambivalent Wish for Independence
14. Diagnosable Developmental Differences, Family Pathology and Their Forensic Implications
Part Three: Developmental Dilemma and Legal Decisions
15. Psychometrics and Psychological Assessments: From IQ Tests to "Custody" Evaluations
16. How Valid Is Developmental Assessment Under Court-involved Stress?
17. The Moving Target Phenomenon
18. The Dilemma of the "Mature Minor"
19. What You See May Not Be What You Get
20. When Children are No Longer Children
21. Development in the Mirror