Psychology and child protection: Promoting widespread improvement in practice

Theodore P. Cross, Irit Hershkowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The contribution of psychology to knowledge on child protection is substantial. This article reviews this contribution and suggests opportunities for psychology to contribute more, choosing 3 selected areas: (a) interviewing children to assess child maltreatment, (b) the well-being of children involved with the child protection system, and (c) evidence-based practices to ameliorate the effects of child maltreatment among children involved with the child protection system. Across these areas, psychology has contributed both to the knowledge base and to available assessment and intervention methods. However, in each area, the effect on usual child protection practice has been limited. Psychology has an opportunity to broaden its contribution through research and systems intervention aimed at extending gains in these areas throughout the child protection field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-518
Number of pages16
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Psychological Association.


  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Child protection
  • Child welfare
  • Psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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