American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Volume 16, Number 4, 1998, p. 5-14
by Jeffrey C. Siegel, Ph.D. and Joseph S. Langford, Ph.D.
MMPI-2 validity scales of two groups of parents going through child custody evaluations, parents who engage in parental alienation syndrome (PAS) behaviors and parents who do not, were compared. It was hypothesized that PAS parents would have significantly higher L and K scales and a significantly lower F scale than parents who do not engage in these behaviors. Using female subjects, since few males were available, the hypothesis was confirmed for K and F scales, indicating that PAS parents are more likely to complete MMPI-2 questions in a defensive manner, striving to appear as flawless as possible. It was concluded that parents who engage in alienating behaviors are more likely than other parents to use the psychological defenses of denial and projection, which are associated with this validity scale pattern. Implications of this finding regarding possible personality disorders in PAS parents are discussed. Read More..
McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada, Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling, By Despina Vassiliou
This qualitative study examines alienated parents perceptions of their own experience of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The participants were five fathers and one mother. The data were collected via semi-structured, open-ended interview questionnaires. A qualitative analysis of the data was performed for each participant in an attempt to answer the following questions: (1) Are there characteristics (e.g., number of children, number of marriages, etc.) common to alienated families? (2) Are there common themes or issues among the conflicts between couples that contribute to marriage dissolution? (3) From the lost parents perspective, are there commonalities in the underlying causes of the alienation? (4) Are there common themes in the participants experience of the alienation process? (5) Given the opportunity what are some things that the lost parents perceive they might do differently? The findings are discussed and the limitations of the present study are given. Read More..
Australian Family Lawyer, v. 4(3), 1989, p.1, by Kenneth Byrne
Divorce is one of the most stressful experiences that most people in our culture will experience in a lifetime. It is often accompanied by strong feelings of bitterness, betrayal, anger and distrust of the former partner. Each party often feels that they are "right" in many of their views on issues about which the couple disagree. When they have children the picture becomes infinitely more complicated. Among many other reactions, there is often a tendency for each partner to want the support or agreement of the child (or children) on critical issues. The more difficulty and intensity of negative feeling between the two adults, the more likely is this to be the case.
In some cases, the desire to have the agreement of the child can become strong enough to verge into brainwashing. By brainwashing I mean an effort on one parent's part to get the child to give up his or her own positive perceptions of the other parent and change them to agree with negative views of the influencing parent. At this intensity the motivation of the parent goes beyond simply getting the agreement and support of the children. Commonly, brainwashing parents are motivated by an opportunity to wreak a powerful form of revenge on the other parent -diminishing the affections of the children. More..
By Frank S. Williams M.D.
Keynote Address, Fifth Annual Conference
National Council for Children's Rights
Washington DC, October 20 1990
Frank S. Williams, M.D. Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst for children, adolescents and adults, is Director of Family and Child Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles. Dr. Williams also directs the Cedars-Sinai Program for Children and Families of Divorce. Read More..
by The Parental Alienation Syndrome Foundation & The Family Court Reform Council of America
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Read More..
Gordon, R.M. (1998) The Medea Complex and the Parental Alienation Syndrome: When Mothers Damage Their Daughter's Ability to Love a Man The Mother-Daughter Relationship Echoes Through Time. Ed. by Gerd H. Fenchel. Jason Aronson Inc. Northvale, New Jersey. Updated and rewritten in Gordon, R.M. (2006d) An Expert Look at Love, Intimacy and Personal Growth. IAPT Press, Allentown, Pa. (Chapter 5 Medea and Parental Alienation) Read More..
Some experts say the extreme hatred some kids feel toward a parent in a divorce is a mental illness
U.S. News & World Report
October 29, 2009
From an early age, Anne was taught by her mother to fear her father. Behind his back, her mom warned that he was unpredictable and dangerous; any time he'd invite her to do anythingâ€”a walk in the woods, a trip to the art storeâ€”she would craft an excuse not to go. "I was under the impression that he was crazy, that at any moment he could just pop and do something violent to hurt me," says Anne, who prefers that only her middle name be used to guard her family's privacy. Typical of a phenomenon some mental-health experts now label "parental alienation," her view of him became so negative, she says, that her mother persuaded her to lie during a custody hearing when the couple divorced. Then 14, she told the judge that her dad was physically abusive. Was he? "No," she says. "But I was convinced that he would [be]." After her mother won custody, Anne all but severed contact with her father for years.
If a growing faction of the mental-health community has its way, Anne's experience will one day soon be an actual diagnosis. The concept of parental alienation, which is highly controversial, is being described as one in which children strongly attach to one parent and reject the other in the false belief that he or she is bad or dangerous. "It's heartbreaking," says William Bernet, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, "to have your 10-year-old suddenly, in a matter of weeks, go from loving you and hiking with you...to saying you're a horrible, ugly person." These aren't kids who simply prefer one parent over the other, he says. That's normal. These kids doggedly resist contact with a parent, sometimes permanently, out of an irrational hate or fear. More..
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