School Psychology Review

Psychological Maltreatment and the Schools: Problems of Law and Professional Responsibility

Gary B. Melton, Janet Corson

pp. 188-194

Mini-Series on Psychological Maltreatment of Children

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ABSTRACT: With federal leadership, most states have recognized “mental injury” to children as a cause for intervention in families. However, they generally have failed to provide specific definitions, and the reliability and validity of reports of psychological maltreatment are questionable. Because the burden is on the state to provide personal security for children in its care, possible false positive errors in identification are less grievous in schools and other institutions than in families. In their institutions,states have an ethical and legal duty to prevent intrusions upon privacy that may damage self-esteem and sense of personal dignity. School psychologists have a responsibility to prevent and correct such intrusions.