U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Child Psychologist's Role in Family Assessment (From The Battered Child, P 152-173, 1987, Ray E Helfer and Ruth S Kempe, eds. -- See NCJ-111195)

NCJ Number
E A W Seagull
Date Published
22 pages
This discussion of the child psychologist's role in family assessment considers the definition of a child psychologist, ethical issues in family assessment, characteristics of a successful child protection team; psychological assessments of the children, the parents, and family interaction; the use of psychodiagnostic tests; the psychologist working alone; and working with trainees.
After reviewing the nature and content of the education of child psychologists, the discussion addresses the ethical issues of patients' informed consent and right to confidentiality. Since part of the child psychologist's role on a child protection team is to facilitate the effective interaction and functioning of the team, characteristics of a successful child protection team are outlined: mutual respect and support among team members, acceptance of the families, and flexibility. Aspects of the psychological assessment of children are assessment of the developmental level and possible emotional abuse as well as issues unique in the assessment of abused or neglected children. The psychological assessment of parents encompasses reaction to assessment, childhood history, impulse control, problemsolving, relationship with children, and possible mental disorders. The psychological assessment of family interaction involves observation of marital interaction during interviews and the observation of siblings in a playroom accessible to the psychologist. The discussion of the use of psychodiagnostic tests also addresses the use of psychological test results as evidence in court. Consideration of resources for psychologists working alone, student training, and research conclude the paper. 90 references.