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Am Psychol. 2015 Nov;70(8):686-93. doi: 10.1037/a0039634.

Toward developmentally aware practices in the legal system: Progress, challenge, and promise.

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University of Cambridge.


Much research in developmental psychology has implications for practice and policy. In this article, I first describe how initial attempts to understand early social development and embrace multidisciplinary perspectives helped inform more nuanced approaches to the development of parenting plans for children with separating and maltreating parents. Second, I trace the ways in which notorious child abuse cases fostered research on children's testimonial capacities, which, in turn, informed the development of more effective forensic interview techniques. Progress in these domains has, however, been offset by failures to apply similar developmentally sensitive principles when dealing with children classified as suspects rather than victims, with children who testify in court, and with children in the child welfare system.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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