Evolutionary Perspectives on Child Welfare Law
David J. Herring
University of New Mexico School of Law
November 19, 2012
The Evolution of Violence, Springer, 2013
U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-32
Evolutionary theory and behavioral biology research have produced knowledge that is potentially useful in addressing violence against children. This chapter highlights two areas of child welfare law, policy, and practice for which this new knowledge has significant implications. First, the relevant behavioral studies contribute to the construction of research-based risk assessment tools through the identification of conditions or situations that increase the risk of violent acts against children. Second, the research supports the development of criteria for foster care placement decisions through the delineation of factors that predict the relative level of parental investment expected from different types of foster parents. This chapter also discusses the potential for additional research inquiries based on evolutionary theory that may have important implications for public child welfare systems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 34
Keywords: behavioral biology, child maltreatment, child welfare, evolutionary theory, foster care, grandparents, kinship, parental investment, risk assessment
JEL Classification: I30, I31, J12, J13, K19, K39Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 20, 2012
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