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March 18, 2019-Forceful Criticism of Prof. Jennifer McIntosh’s Work

Since approximately 2007, equal parenting adversaries have found one researcher they hang their hat on. On the rare occasion they provide any research at all, opponents almost exclusively, directly or indirectly, rely on Australian Jennifer McIntosh. Her research was quickly challenged and thoroughly debunked by the research community in the United States. Arguments used against equal shared parenting that rely on the conclusions or recommendations of Jennifer McIntosh have zero credibility in the social science community. McIntosh should have no credibility with legislators. The work of McIntosh has been labeled junk science that may border intentional fraud to mislead lawmakers. McIntosh’s work fails on many levels, to name just a few:

  • McIntosh has been critiqued and refuted for her invalid measures and numerous flaws by at least one dozen scholars. One scholar had 110 experts in the field co-sign his article in support of his conclusions against McIntosh and in favor of sharing overnights as equally as possible.
  • McIntosh’s conclusions in her two AFCC articles are misrepresented as a “consensus” of a large group of practitioners, when it was merely the opinions of the 3 authors, after their large group failed to achieve consensus.
  • McIntosh magnifies negative outcomes, which she claims to derive from her research, when those outcomes are not scientifically supported in her research or other research she quotes.
  • McIntosh’s work cannot be generalized to the majority of family court cases because they were either small sample sizes, or very narrow demographics.

Any argument that relies on McIntosh to oppose equal shared parenting fails. It should be considered malpractice for any practitioner who directly or indirectly uses the research, conclusions, or recommendations of McIntosh to restrict a child’s access at any age to a fit, loving, responsible father.

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