Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects



Additional Departmental Affiliation


Document Type



Judges, attorneys, and psychologists are individuals in the legal system who have the most interaction with child custody evaluations (CCEs), yet there is little research regarding whether these parties have different views on what factors are important in CCEs. The present study examined how judges, attorneys, and psychologists evaluated sole-parent child custody cases. A sample of judges, attorneys, and psychologists completed a forty-item questionnaire regarding their opinions of what factors they believe are most/least important in CCEs. The goal of this study was to first observe if there were differences among the parties’ ratings, and secondly, determine why might differences exist. Results revealed that judges, attorneys, and psychologists differed on eight of the forty-items. The results have important implications regarding how the legal system might establish a more controlled and standardized system of CCE guidelines for all evaluators in child custody cases. A reexamination of how CCEs are conducted and presented in sole-parent child custody cases is needed.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Melissa Baker, Ph.D.


Criminology | Legal Studies | Other Psychology | Psychology