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This study examined the impact of judicial experience and expectancy-related case factors on perceptions of risk in decisions to terminate parental rights. One hundred and thirty-three child abuse and neglect court judges read a simulated child protection case and decided whether to
terminate parental rights. Three expectancy-related case factors (sibling presence, parent support, and information regarding the child's potential adoptability) were varied across eight experimental conditions. Data regarding judges' experience, emotion, cognitive style, and certain demographic
variables were analyzed in relation to their perceptions of risk for the child returning home and the child remaining in foster care. Expectancy-related case factors predicted risk perception for experienced judges only. In contrast, emotion, cognitive style, and demographic variables predicted
less experienced judges' decisions.