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Principles and Practice of Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health

Edited by Elissa P. Benedek, M.D., Peter Ash, M.D., and Charles L. Scott, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-336-5
  • Item #62336


When care of younger patients raises thorny legal questions, you need answers you can trust: that’s why this book belongs on every clinician’s reference shelf. Principles and Practice of Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health is a timely and authoritative source that covers issues ranging from child custody to litigation concerns as it walks clinicians through the often-confusing field of depositions and courtroom testimony.

The book expands on the 2002 volume Principles and Practice of Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry winner of the 2003 Manfred S. Guttmacher Award, to meet pressing twenty-first-century concerns, from telepsychiatry to the Internet, while continuing to cover basic issues, such as forensic evaluation, psychological screening, and the interviewing of children for suspected sexual abuse, that are important to both new and experienced practitioners. Many of its chapters have been entirely rewritten by new authors to provide fresh insight into such topics as child custody; juvenile law; abuse, neglect, and permanent wardship cases; transcultural, transracial, and gay/lesbian parenting and adoption; and the reliability and suggestibility of children’s statements. It also includes significant material not found in the previous volume:

  • Two chapters on special education offer an introduction to screening instruments and help practitioners determine a child’s potential need for special education programs and services.
  • A chapter on cultural competence helps readers improve the accuracy and responsiveness of forensic evaluations and minimize the chance of an unjust outcome resulting from misguided expert opinion.
  • The section on youth violence features three new chapters—Taxonomy and Neurobiology of Aggression, Prevention of School Violence, and Juvenile Stalkers—plus a newly written chapter on assessment of violence risk, offering guidance on how to confront problems such as bullying and initiate effective family interventions.
  • A chapter on psychiatric malpractice and professional liability addresses these legal concerns with an eye toward cases involving minors.
  • A chapter on psychological autopsy covers evaluation of the circumstances surrounding pediatric suicides, describing various types of equivocal deaths and discussing legal issues such as admissibility of the autopsy in court.
  • A newly written chapter on the Internet expands the previous book’s focus on child pornography to help practitioners deal with issues ranging from online threats to emotional and legal consequences of interactions in cyberspace.

This is a valuable reference not only for practitioners in psychiatry and the mental health field but also for attorneys and judges. It opens up a field that may be too often avoided and helps professionals make their way through legal thickets with confidence.


PART I: Basics
Chapter 1. Introduction to the Legal System
Chapter 2. Ethics of Child and Adolescent Forensic Psychiatry
Chapter 3. Introduction to Forensic Evaluations
Chapter 4. Testifying: The Expert Witness in Court
Chapter 5. Special Education: Screening Tools, Rating Scales, and Self-Report Instruments
Chapter 6. Psychological Testing in Child and Adolescent Forensic Evaluations
Chapter 7. Forensic Telepsychiatry
Chapter 8. Cultural Competence in Child and Adolescent Forensic Mental Health
PART II: Legal Regulation of Practice
Chapter 9. Legal Issues in the Treatment of Minors
Chapter 10. Legal Aspects of Intellectual Disability
PART III: Child Custody
Chapter 11. Child Custody Evaluation
Chapter 12. Parenting Assessment in Abuse, Neglect, and Permanent Wardship Cases
Chapter 13. Children in Foster Care
Chapter 14. Adoption
Chapter 15. Special Issues in Transcultural, Transracial, and Gay and Lesbian Parenting and Adoption
PART IV: Child Abuse
Chapter 16. Reliability and Suggestibility of Children’s Statements: From Science to Practice
Chapter 17. Interviewing Children for Suspected Sexual Abuse
Chapter 18. Forensic Issues in Munchausen by Proxy
Chapter 19. Forensic Issues and the Internet
PART V: Youth Violence
Chapter 20. Taxonomy and Neurobiology of Aggression
Chapter 21. Assessing Violence Risk in Youth
Chapter 22. Prevention of Youth Violence
Chapter 23. Prevention of School Violence
Chapter 24. Juvenile Stalkers
PART VI: Juvenile Offenders
Chapter 25. Overview of Juvenile Law
Chapter 26. Juvenile Waiver and State-of-Mind Assessments
Chapter 27. Assessment and Treatment of Juvenile Offenders
Chapter 28. Sexually Aggressive Youth
PART VII: Civil Litigation
Chapter 29. Civil Litigation and Psychic Trauma
Chapter 30. Malpractice and Professional Liability
Chapter 31. Psychological Autopsy in Children and Adolescents
Chapter 32. Evaluations for Special Education
Chapter 33. Clinical and Forensic Aspects of Sexual Harassment in School-Age Children and Adolescents


Diana K. Antia, M.D.
Peter Ash, M.D.
Catherine C. Ayoub, R.N., Ed.D.
Sharmila Bandyopadhyay, M.Ed.
Eraka P.J. Bath, M.D.
Elissa P. Benedek, M.D.
Stephen Bates Billick,M.D.
R. James R. Blair, Ph.D.
Randy Borum, Psy.D., ABPP
Brenda Bursch, Ph.D.
Charles R. Clark, Ph.D., ABPP
Emil F. Coccaro, M.D.
Dewey G. Cornell, Ph.D.
Debra K. DePrato, M.D.
Megan Eliot, M.Ed.
Todd S. Elwyn, J.D., M.D.
James B. Gale, M.S.
Marisa A. Giggie, M.D., M.P.Aff.
Tracy D. Gunter, M.D.
Melvin J. Guyer, J.D., Ph.D.
James C. Harris, M.D.
Jack P. Haynes, Ph.D.
Thomas M. Horner, Ph.D.
Praveen Kambam, M.D.
Niranjan S. Karnik, M.D., Ph.D.
Sarah Kulkofsky, Ph.D.
Robert J. Levy, J.D.
Kamala London, Ph.D.
Pamela S. Ludolph, Ph.D.
JoAnn E. Macbeth, J.D.
Daryl Matthews, M.D., Ph.D.
Stephen W. Phillippi, Ph.D.
Kathleen M. Quinn, M.D.
Vivek S. Sankaran, J.D.
Robert B. Sanoshy, LCSW
Diane H. Schetky, M.D.
Herbert A. Schreier, M.D.
Charles L. Scott, M.D.
Jon A. Shaw, M.D.
Matthew F. Soulier, M.D.
Mary F. Spence, Ph.D.
Hans Steiner, M.D.
Humberto Temporini, M.D.
Wen Shing Tseng, M.D.
Frank E. Vandervort, J.D.
Jerry Wishner, Ph.D.

About the Authors

Elissa P. Benedek, M.D., is Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor.

Peter Ash, M.D., is Chief, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry; Director, Psychiatry and Law Service; and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Charles L. Scott, M.D., is Chief, Division of Psychiatry and the Law, and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, at the University of California–Davis School of Medicine.

This is a truly comprehensive work, beautifully organized and well referenced, that really does cover the “principles and practice” of its topic.—William H. Reid, M.D., MPH, Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 1/1/2010

In general, the book does a tremendous job of summarizing the current literature, reviewing pertinent case law, and then applying this to the topics.
The editors have tremendous expertise in child and adolescent forensic psychiatry… With the many changes in the juvenile justice system and other areas of child and adolescent forensic mental health, it is certainly worthwhile to replace the first edition.—Doody Enterprises, Inc., Louis J. Kraus, M.D., 1/1/2010

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