Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Barbara A. Oudekerk & Bette L. Bottoms
Interactions between children and the law have never received as much attention from social scientists as they are receiving today. In the past three decades, psychological research has bourgeoned on issues such as child maltreatment, adoption and custody matters, children's eyewitness testimony, and juvenile crime. In each of these realms, psychologists have described children's relevant competencies, illustrated erroneous assumptions made about children by laws and courts, and used this new knowledge to bring about innovations in policy, practice, and law. In turn, these innovations have improved the lives of children and increased the likelihood that justice will prevail in legal situations involving children and youth. There are around there million official reports of child maltreatment each year in the United States, which bring many children into the legal system. Social scientists have investigated a number of issues relevant to child victimization, many of them controversial. Even defining child abuse is ...