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Biased reporting by parents undergoing child custody evaluations.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0390.


This study tested the hypothesis that a parent undergoing a child custody evaluation will bias his or her report of the children's symptoms in a direction that supports the parent's aim in the litigation. Parents in 196 court-ordered child custody evaluations rated their children using the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist. Additional families undergoing evaluations of visitation disputes (N = 34) and custody/visitation disputes complicated by sexual abuse allegations (N = 15) were used as comparison groups to test alternative explanations of the findings. Results were strongly supportive of the hypothesis that parental bias was present and quantifiable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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