Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Towards Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Among Lawyers in New Zealand

Chu, JTW
Wilson, H
McCormack, JC
McGinn, V
Brookbanks, W
Bullen, C
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Journal Article
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Informa UK Limited

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is a developmental disability that can cause difficulties with communication, emotional regulation and executive function, making people with FASD vulnerable to adverse involvement within the criminal justice system. Justice professionals’ knowledge and attitudes of FASD is critical to identifying appropriate responses, management and sentencing in the justice system. This research aims to understand the FASD knowledge, attitudes and practices among lawyers working in the justice sector in Aotearoa, New Zealand. We conducted an online survey on the awareness, knowledge and beliefs of FASD, experience and professional practice with FASD of justice professionals working in the justice sector in New Zealand. Of the 56 participants, most were lawyers. All participants were aware of FASD but had gaps in their knowledge and few felt well prepared to support someone with FASD. There is a need to develop policies, training and support for lawyers, around FASD.

48 Law and Legal Studies , 4805 Legal Systems , Conditions Affecting the Embryonic and Fetal Periods , Perinatal Period - Conditions Originating in Perinatal Period , Pediatric , Alcoholism, Alcohol Use and Health , Substance Misuse , Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) , Brain Disorders , Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) , 7 Management of diseases and conditions , 7.1 Individual care needs , Mental health , 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions , 1701 Psychology , 1702 Cognitive Sciences , 1801 Law , Criminology , 4402 Criminology , 4804 Law in context , 5201 Applied and developmental psychology
Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ISSN: 1321-8719 (Print); 1934-1687 (Online), Informa UK Limited, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), 1-13. doi: 10.1080/13218719.2023.2243310
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© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.