Testing in child custody evaluations: An overview of issues and uses

Cassandra Valerio, Connie J. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The use of tests in child custody evaluations is controversial. Few tests were designed specifically for use in the custody context or include norm samples of parents involved in custody disputes. Use of data derived from tests administered in the custody context can create both scientific and ethical concerns in some cases. However, surveys of child custody evaluators indicate that test usage is common and has in fact increased substantially over the past several decades. The current article reviews the literature regarding the use of tests with adults and children involved in custody disputes and cases with alleged intimate partner violence. Psychometric properties of commonly used tests are discussed, as well as the risks and limitations of test usage in custody evaluations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-280
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Child Custody
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017


  • Assessment
  • assessment instruments
  • divorce
  • domestic violence
  • intimate partner violence
  • parenting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Law


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