The Three Principles of Child Custody Recommendations

“Operational Definitions: There are no operational definitions for the key constructs of “parental capacity” and “best interests of the child.” Defining the key constructs to be assessed is foundational to the development of an assessment procedure. Without operational definitions for the key constructs of “parental capacity” and “best interests of the child,” individual child custody evaluators are free to arbitrarily apply, misapply, or not apply, any, some, or none of the established principles and constructs of professional psychology in any way the evaluator chooses in order to reach an arbitrary decision regarding child custody which is potentially biased by the evaluator’s own beliefs, prejudices, knowledge base, and personal family-of-origin history.”
” Pathogenic Parenting: Pathogenic parenting is the creation of significant pathology in the child through aberrant and distorted parenting practices (patho-pathology; genic=genesis, creation). Pathogenic parenting that is creating significant developmental and psychiatric pathology in the child may warrant the DSM-5 diagnosis of V995.51 Child Psychological Abuse and a child protection response. In all cases of child abuse (physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse), the standard and appropriate mental health response is to protectively separate the child from the abusive parent, treat the impact of the abuse on the child and restore the child’s healthy development, and then to reintroduce the child to the formerly abusive parent with sufficient safeguards to ensure that the child is safe and that the abuse does not resume. During the protective separation period, the abusive parent is typically required to seek collateral individual therapy to gain insight into the cause of the prior abusive parenting practices”

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

I have just posted these three principles for child custody recommendations to my website:

The Three Principles of Child Custody Recommendations


Principle 1 – Child Custody Evaluations: There is no established validity for the conclusions and recommendations reached by child custody evaluations.

Child custody evaluations violate all of the professional standards of practice for the development of an assessment procedure.

A.)  Inter-Rater Reliability: There is no established inter-rater reliability for the conclusions and recommendations of child custody evaluations.  Two different evaluators can reach two entirely different sets of conclusions and recommendations based on the same data.  If an assessment procedure is not reliable, then the assessment procedure cannot, by definition, be valid (the issue is not the collection of data, it is the interpretation of the data).

B.)  Validity: There are no scientific studies that establish the construct validity, content validity, predictive validity, convergent validity, or discriminant validity of the…

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