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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 119152 Find in a Library
Title: Assessment of Juvenile Psychopathology for Legal Purposes (From Juvenile Psychiatry and the Law, P 183-197, 1989, Richard Rosner and Harold I Schwartz, eds. -- See NCJ-119142)
Author(s): R Rosner
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: General and forensic psychiatrists who are asked to evaluate children and adolescents should obtain the background information and technical skills that were not included in their basic residency training and to be aware of the limit of any program of systematic self-education so that they can tell if they are not equipped to do a competent juvenile psychiatric evaluation.
Abstract: They should also recognize that the assessment of juvenile psychopathology for legal purposes differs from such assessment for clinical purposes, because medical goals are therapeutic and legal goals are not. Thus, examining psychiatrists in forensic situations may owe their main ethical loyalty to the court, to one of the attorneys, to one of the parents, to a social service agency or private institution, to the probation department, or to others that do not have the well-being of juveniles as their concern in a legal proceeding. The ethical forensic psychiatrist must tell the juvenile who has retained the psychiatrist, who will receive the results, and that the usual protections for patients do not apply. The psychiatrist may also need more than one source of information about the child or adolescent. Communication may be difficult, and a structured approach is usually the most effective. A teenager who does not want to speak may be more communicative in the company of the person complaining about the youth. The interview should aim to produce a range of functional assessments. In addition, the assessments should be based on a developmental perspective. Three case descriptions and 44 suggested readings.
Main Term(s): Psychological evaluation
Index Term(s): Child development; Forensic psychiatry; Juvenile mental health services; Personal interviews; Youth development
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