Forensic psychology has mushroomed into a diverse and increasingly complex field that is equal parts law and psychology. Psychologists act as expert witnesses in legal cases - sometimes without knowing much about the laws involved, and legal professionals rely on the assessment of psychologists sometimes without knowing much about how such assessments are made. The purpose of this handbook is to provide professionals with current, practical, and empirically based information to guide their work in forensic settings, or to better their understanding of the issues and debates in forensic psychology. Divided into four sections, the Handbook of Forensic Psychology covers basic issues, assessment, mental disorders and forensic psychology, and special topics. The basic issue chapters present a primer on law for the psychologist, a primer on psychology for attorneys, an overview of ethical issues relevant to forensic psychology, and a chapter on forensic report writing. The assessment section discusses factors and measures relevant for assessing a variety of behaviors, propensities, and capabilities, including dangerousness, violence, suicide, competency, substance abuse, PTSD and neuropsychological evaluations, as well as discussing interviewing children and child custody evaluations. Additional chapters discuss eyewitness testimony, recovered memory, polygraphs, sexual harassment, juror selection, and issues of ethnicity in forensic psychology.


Forensic clinical psychologists looking to have a larger forensic psychology practice.

Table of Contents

Part I: Basic Issues. M.G. Brogdon, Sr., J.H. Adams, and R. Bahri, Psychology and the Law. W.T. O'Donohue, K. Beitz, and E.R. Levensky, An Introduction to Psychology for Attorneys. M. Lavin, Ethical Issues in Forensic Psychology. J.E. Hecker and R.J. Scoular, Forensic Report Writing. Part II: Assessment. L. Eccleston and T. Ward, Assessment of Dangerousness and Criminal Responsibility. R.J. Dempster, Issues in the Assessment, Communication, and Management of Risk for Violence. K. Strosahl, Forensic and Ethical Issues in the Assessment and Treatment of the Suicidal Patient. R. Roesch, J. Viljoen, and I. Hui, Assessing Intent and Criminal Responsibility. J. Skeem, S.L. Golding, and P. Emke-Francis, Assessing Adjudicative Competency: Using Legal and Empirical Principles to Inform Practice. C. Yury, R.A. Gentry, H. LeRoux, J.A. Buchanan, and J.E. Fisher, Assessing Mental Competency in the Elderly. A.R. Bradley, Child Custody Evaluations. M. Fanetti and R. Boles, Forensic Interviewing and Assessment Issues with Children. A. McLearen, C.A. Pietz, and R.L. Denney, Evaluation of Psychological Damages. K. Ferguson, Detecting Malingering in Forensic Neuropsychological Evaluations in Litigants with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. E.V. Gifford, B.S. Kohlenberg, M.M. Piasecki, and E.J. Webber, The Forensic Assessment of Substance Abuse. K. Treadwell and E. Foa, Assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Part III: Mental Disorders and Forensic Psychology. S.G. Little, A. Akin-Little, and U.H. Mocniak, Conduct Disorders and Impulse Co


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© 2004
Academic Press
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About the authors

William O'Donohue

William O'Donohue is the Nicholas Cummings Professor of Organized Behavioral Healthcare at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy. He has authored over 100 articles and chapters and co-edited more than 15 books.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of Nevada, Reno, USA

Eric Levensky

Affiliations and Expertise

Univeristy of Nevada, Reno, U.S.A.


"O'Donohue and Levensky have put together a readable and truly comprehensive work that covers forensic topics (legal and ethical) intersecting with psychology. The editors divide the discussion into logical sections that include basic issues, assessment issues, mental disorders, and special topics. Chapters treat such key issues as forensic reports, eyewitness testimony, juries, and polygraphs. Included among the many other important topics are nonverbal detection of deception, and elder and child abuse. The list of contributors is impressive, and all information is current. This book will be a vital tool for forensic scientists and forensic psychologists as well as an invaluable resource for anyone who must write reports or give courtroom testimony. Summing Up: Essential. All collections supporting the study of forensics at the upper-division undergraduate level and above." -CHOICE