1st Edition

The Law and Child Development

Edited By Emily Buss, Mavis Maclean Copyright 2010

    This volume asks what legal and socio legal scholarship can contribute to understanding the role of law in the care and development of children. The editors have selected key articles ranging from theoretical analysis to empirical data based research that address the law's approach in the United States and the United Kingdom to resolving parenting disputes after separation, protecting children from abuse and neglect, and affording children procedural protections in the juvenile justice system. Their introduction to these important and often distressing areas of the law confirms the importance of understanding how law works in practice, and reaffirms that law itself remains responsible for articulating and protecting society's values.

    Contents: Introduction; Part I Overarching Issues: The legal construction of adolescence, Elizabeth S. Scott; Allocating developmental control among parent, child and the state, Emily Buss; The interests of the child and child's wishes: the role of dynamic self-determinism, John Eekelaar; The paramountcy principle: consensus or construct? Helen Reece. Part II Private Law Issues: Separation and Contact: What matters? What does not? Five perspectives on the association between marital transitions and children's adjustment, E. Mavis Hetherington, Margaret Bridges and Glendessa M. Insabella; A critical assessment of child custody evaluations, limited science and a flawed system, Robert E. Emery, Randy K. Otto and William T. O’Donohue; The uses of social science data in legal policymaking: custody determinations at divorce, Martha L. Fineman and Anne Opie; Why can't they agree? The underlying complexity of contact and residence disputes, Carol Smart and Vanessa May; Parent-child contact in Australia: exploring five different post-separation patterns of parenting, Bruce Smyth; Child-custody adjudication: judicial functions in the face of indeterminacy, Robert H. Mnookin. Part III Public Law Issues: Child, Family and the State: 'Are you my mother?' Conceptualizing children's identity rights in transracial adoptions, Barbara Bennett Woodhouse; Re O and N; Re B - Uncertain evidence and risk taking in child protection cases, Mary Hayes; Lessons from America? Learning from child protection policy in the USA, Caroline Keenan; Taking Gault seriously: toward a new juvenile court, Gary B. Melton; Legal socialization of children and adolescents, Jeffrey Fagan and Tom R. Tyler; Name Index.


    Emily Buss, Professor, School of Law, University of Chicago, USA and Mavis Maclean, Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK.