Forensic Psychology Case Study: Custody Evaluations
From the child custody guidelines, before giving custody to a parent, factors such as the personality, family background, quality and nature of the parent and developmental needs of the child need to be assessed. In this case, the children have the characteristics acquired from parents. The family backgrounds of the parents play a big role in determining their nature upon growing up, and seemingly, the characteristics of a parent are passed on to the child. This is where the need to study the above factors comes in, being handing over custody to any parent.
From the backgrounds of both parents, none is suitable to be a role model to the children. The fact that the mother came from an abusive family where she was forced to commit incest with her family members is proof that her psychology is unstable. The mother was exposed to several abusive sexual acts such as working as a stripper and having multiple sexual partners. She is defenceless from the men at work, and there are cases where her children have even witnessed her being abused by the same men. The man on the other hand, led a normal childhood, where he faced no kind of abuse from his parents. From the above background information, the psychological stability of both parents shows a difference (American Psychological Association, 2013). The fact that the mother experienced a painful and abusive childhood demonstrates some mental incapability to handle a family (American Psychological Association, 2013). She presumably sees nothing wrong about being sexually immoral and her daughter seems to be taking after her. The father on the other hand, coming from a stable family with a normal childhood possibly has a more stable mental capability to handle family matters, since he has an idea of how a family should run, in a right way.
After the test, the mother gives long responses and is found to fake her situations. She sees children as little adults who may be bad at times (American Psychological Association, 2013). The more than average responses she gives and her perspective on children magnify her unstable attitude towards children. On a general outlook, she seems uncertain about certain situations and her faking portrays a sense of immaturity (American Psychological Association, 2013). The father on the other hand, gives short responses, and they total below average. This shows that the father is more confident of himself. It also shows that he is arrogant in some sense, as well as secretive since he provides too little information. The tests touch on the perspectives of both for children.
In most cases, the actions of the parents affect children more. Adults outside the children’s lives, other than the parents may not play very significant roles on the children, unless the children relate with them more than they do with the parents (American Psychological Association, 2013). The geographical difference is a significant factor, unless one of the parents is paying frequent visits to the children. Therefore provided the lesser capable parent is allowed to visit her children occasionally. the geographical factor is less significant (American Psychological Association, 2013).
Judging from the background of both parents, the mother seems more psychologically unstable. The father, on the other hand, leads a normal childhood and only has a problem in managing his tantrums. He, however, is more likely to manage a family than the mother since he had a chance to face a normal life, compared to that of the mother. The father, judging on the psychological stability is more capable of caring for his children than the mother.
American Psychological Association. (2013). Guidelines For Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters. http://www.apa.org/practice/guidelines/child-protection.pdf