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1 - Children, Social Science, and the Law: An Introduction to the Issues

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 July 2009

Bette L. Bottoms
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of Psychology University of Illinois at Chicago
Margaret Bull Kovera
Affiliation:
Associate Professor of Psychology Florida International University
Bradley D. McAuliff
Affiliation:
Research Associate University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Bette L. Bottoms
Affiliation:
University of Illinois, Chicago
Margaret Bull Kovera
Affiliation:
Florida International University
Bradley D. McAuliff
Affiliation:
University of Nebraska, Lincoln
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Summary

As noted by Goodman, Emery, and Haugaard (1998), “there are few other areas of law where the courts rely as heavily on social science data as they do for decisions about children's welfare” (p. 775). The primary goal of Children, Social Science, and the Law is to facilitate that reliance. We believe researchers in this field have an obligation to understand child-relevant law and policy so that they are prepared to conduct research that is useful to courts, policy makers, and practitioners. Legal professionals and practitioners must then understand and use that research. We designed our book specifically to help both groups of professionals meet these critical responsibilities and, in turn, improve children's quality of life under the laws and policies of the United States.

Children, Social Science, and the Law broadens the field's conceptualization of the topic “children and the law” in ways not attempted previously, raising consciousness about a wide-ranging set of issues in great need of theoretical, empirical, and legislative attention. Some chapters address the newest research in subfields that fortunately have burgeoned over the last decade (e.g., children's eyewitness testimony, child abuse and neglect). Other chapters are in-depth considerations of novel issues that have received far less attention than they deserve (e.g., the impact of welfare policies on children, law and policy related to gay and lesbian parenting).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2002

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References

Bottoms v. Bottoms, No. 941166 (Va. 1995)
Bottoms, B. L., & Goodman, G. S. (Eds.). (1996). International perspectives on child abuse and children's testimony: Psychological research and law. Newbury Park, CA: Sage
Bottoms, B. L., Reppucci, N. D., Tweed, J., & Nysse, K. (in press). Children, psychology, and law: Reflections on past and future contributions to science and policy. In J. Ogloff & R. Roesch (Eds.), Taking psychology and law into the twenty first century. New York: Kluwar Academic/Plenum Publishers
Briere, J., Berliner, L., Bulkley, J. A., Jenny, C., & Reid, T. (Eds.). (1996). The APSAC handbook on child maltreatment (pp. 51–71). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Ceci, S. J., & Bruck, M. (1995). Jeopardy in the courtroom: A scientific analysis of children's testimony. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association
Goodman, G. S., & Bottoms, B. L. (Eds.). (1993). Child victims, child witnesses: Understanding and improving testimony. New York: Guilford
Goodman, G. S., Emery, R. E., & Haugaard, J. (1998). Developmental psychology and law: Divorce, child maltreatment, foster care, and adoption. In I. Siegel & A. Renninger (Eds.), Child psychology in practice (pp. 775–876), in W. Damon (Series Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (Vol. 4). New York: Wiley
In re Gault, 387 US 1, 87 S Ct. 1428, 18 L. Ed. 2nd 527 (1967)
Jones, L., & Finkelhor, D. (2001). The decline in child sexual abuse cases. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Kent v. United States, 383 U.S. 541, 86 S.Ct. 1045, 16 L.Ed.2d 84 (1966)
Melton, G. (Ed.). (1987). Reforming the law: Impact of child development research. New York: Guilford
Melton, G. B., & Barry, F. D. (1994). Protecting children from abuse and neglect: Foundations for a new national strategy. New York: Guilford
Patterson, C. J. (1992). Children of lesbian and gay parents. Child Development, 63, 1025–1042CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Patterson, C. J. (1995). Lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children. In A. R. D'Augelli & C. J. Patterson (Eds.), Lesbian, gay, and bisexual identities across the lifespan: Psychological perspectives (pp. 262–290). New York: Oxford University PressCrossRef
Schwartz-Kenney, B. M., McCauley, M., & Epstein, M. A. (Eds.). (2001). Child abuse: A global view. Westport, CT: Greenwood
United Nations General Assembly (1989, November 17). Adoption of a convention on the rights of the child. U.N. Doc. A/Res/44/25
U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect (1991). Creating caring communities: Blueprint for an effective federal policy on child abuse and neglect. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
Westcott, H. L., Davies, G. M., & Bull, R. H. C. (in press). Children's testimony: A handbook of psychological research and forensic practice. Chichester, UK: Wiley
Whitebread, C., & Heilman, J. (1988). An overview of the law of juvenile delinquency. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 6, 285–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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