Quick Reference to Child and Adolescent Forensics: A Guide for Nurses and Other Health Care Professionals

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Quick Reference to Child and Adolescent Forensics most assuredly needs to have a prominent place in the library of any forensic nurse or health professional and have very worn pages from its frequent use.

—On the Edge, Newsletter of the International Association of Forensic Nurses

Muscari and Brown have written a great reference work for anyone who works with either child or teen victims or perpetrators of violent crime...Highly recommended.


This is a comprehensive guide to all forensic aspects of the treatment of children and teens, important to all health care providers who will encounter young patients...Highly recommended.


Drs. Muscari and Brown have synthesized the key information on forensics pediatrics and produced a 'must read' text that needs to be on every person's bookshelf.

—Ann Wolbert Burgess, DNSc, APRN, BC Professor of Psychiatric Nursing, Boston College

Health care practitioners frequently work with victims of child abuse, sexual assault, and juvenile offenders, but often lack the education and resources they need to deal with the everyday forensic issues of pediatric practice. This quick guide provides current information that assists pediatric practitioners with the prevention, identification, and management of pediatric victims and offenders.

The book describes the general principles of forensics and its implications in pediatric practice, including the cycle, continuum, and cultural aspects of violence. It also serves as a guide to conducting the forensic assessment and recording the legal documentation, collecting evidence, navigating the criminal and family justice systems, and producing expert witness testimony. The authors clearly define the role of the pediatric provider working with children who witness violence at home, in the community, and in the media.

Key topics:

• How to detect abusive parents as well as abused children
• The effects of victimization of children by abusive, absent, or incarcerated parents
• Delinquency and juvenile justice systems-with insight into bullying, school violence, arson, gang membership, juvenile sex offending, and dating violence
• Unnatural pediatric deaths, such as sudden unexpected infant and child death, accidents, homicides, and suicides

Practicing emergency room nurses, pediatric critical care nurses, nurse practitioners, and student practitioners will find this book to be an essential reference guide for managing and understanding pediatric forensics.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826124173
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/11/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary E. Muscari is Associate Professor at Binghamton University (NY) Dr. Muscari has been a Pediatric NP since 1980 when she earned her MSN/PNP from Columbia University. She earned a post-Master's certificate in psychiatric nursing and a PhD both from Adelphi University; a Post-Master's certificate in Forensic Nursing (2003) from Duquesne University and has additional forensic education as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, a Legal Nurse Consultant and a Medicolegal Death Investigator. She attended the Infant Death Investigation Academy (2007) through the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. She has taught nursing since 1988, first at Luzerne Comm College (1988-1992), University of Scranton (1997-1004) and Binghamton University (2007 - present) where she is establishing a forensic nursing course. Dr. Muscari has worked clinically as a PNP in a variety of environments and has served on the PA Sex Offender Assessment Board (2005 - present) and as a private consultant on child health/mental health, parenting and forensic issues. She has conducted or participated in research in pornography in relation to adult and juvenile child molesters, partners of Male Pedophiles, disappearance of childhood, and factors of youth violence and resilience. Dr. Muscari has published >60 professional articles, >30 newspaper and consumer articles, three screenplays and has delivered >85 presentations on forensic topics since 1985. Dr. Muscari has published several nursing books including Pediatric Nursing Review (4 editions) and Advanced Pediatric Clinical Assessment (2001); and five consumer books including: Everything Parents Guide to Raising Adolescent Girls; Everything Parents Guide to Raising Adolescent Boys; Let Kids be Kids: Rescuing Childhood (2006); Not My Kid: 21 Steps to Raising a Non-Violent Kid (2002) and Not My Kid 2: Protecting Your Children from the 21 Threats of the 21st Century (2004).

Kathleen M. Brown is Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing as well as a practicing Women's Health NP (X23 years) and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner for the Northampton County, PA, Sexual Assault Response Team. Additionally, she is Post-Graduate student of Dr. Robert Sadoff's at the University of Penn School of Medicine in the Applications of Forensic Psychiatry. She has been a co-investigator in 4 funded research studies, including 2 for the Nat Institute of Justice and one for NINR/NIMH. Her dissertation research on leaving abusive relationships was funded by AWHONN. She is the author/co-author of 23 journal articles. Dr. Brown is currently a nurse consultant on rape and sexual assault to prosecutors and defense attorneys throughout the states of PA, NJ and DE, to the US Army via the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corp., to the NJ State Attorney General's Office for the development of sate wide protocols and procedures related to the investigation of sex crimes, to Philadelphia Sexual Assault Coalition via the Women Organized Against Rape, to the Am Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) division of the Nat Institute of Justice on the development of standards for sexual assault nurse examiners; and to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She is Board Member for many committees that focus on sexual assault. Lastly, she is an active speaker and workshop trainer throughout NJ & PA.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Ann Wolbert Burgess Burgess, Ann Wolbert

Preface: The Forensic Aspects of Pediatrics



1 The Effects of Violence Exposure on Children 3

2 Cultural Aspects of Forensics 17

3 Forensic Assessment and Documentation 29

4 Principles of Evidence 43

5 Navigating the Juvenile Justice System 51

6 Expert Witness Testimony 59

7 Profesional Stress and Burnout 69


8 Child Abuse 81

9 Shaken Baby Syndrome/Abusive Head Trauma 101

10 Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy 113

11 Sexual Abuse 123

12 Sexual Exploitation 139

13 Child Abductions 153

14 Psychological Effects of Victimization 171

15 Children of Incarcerated Parents 185


16 Juvenile Delinquency 195

17 Child Delinquents 211

18 Female Delinquents 221

19 Bullying 229

20 School Violence 247

21 Juvenile Animal Cruelty 259

22 Juvenile Firesetting 269

23 Gangs 283

24 Juvenile Sex Offenders 299

25 Dating Violence 313


26 Medicolegal Child Death Investigation 327

27 Sudden Unexpected Infant Death 345

28 Filicide 359

29 Child and Adolescent Suicide 369

30 Asphyxial "Games" 377

31 Homicide Survivors 385



Appendix A Infant Developmental Milestones Important for Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigations 411

Appendix B State Age Parameters in the Juvenile Justice System 413

Appendix C Crime Victim Compensation Programs 417

Appendix D Pediatric and Parent Asessments 421

Index 437

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