FAQs

What is Parental Alienation:

PA is a family dynamic found – usually – in high conflict divorced/divorcing families in which one or both parents engage in behaviors that are likely to foster a child’s unjustified rejection of the other parent.

What is the Difference Between Alienation and Estrangement?

Alienation is the term used to describe children who have been manipulated by one parent through the PA behaviors to unjustifiably reject the other parent (the targeted parent). While the term estrangement is the term used to describe children who have a justified reason (for example, abuse or neglect or abandonment) to reject the parent.

What are Parental Alienation Behaviors:

There are many parental behaviors that can be considered parental alienation. According to Baker and Fine (2014) there are the five primary types: (1)  Poisonous messages designed to convey to the child that the other parent is unsafe, unloving, and unavailable. Examples include: saying mean and untrue things about the other parent, putting the parents choices down, conveying to the….. Read More »

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is the term used to describe children who are alienated (as opposed to estranged). Alienated children exhibit most if not all of the 8 behaviors described below. These behaviors were first identified by Dr. Gardner (1998). (1)  Campaign of Denigration: characterized by rude, disrespectful treatment of the targeted parent, exaggeration of minor flaws. The child behaves….. Read More »

What are the Long-Term Consequences of Alienation?

Research has established that exposure to PA behaviors as well as being alienated is associated with negative long-term consequences for children. These have been found in Baker (2007) and replicated in several additional studies since then. Depression Low self esteem Difficulty trusting others Difficulties with substance abuse

Is PA and PAS Accepted in the Courts?

While PA and PAS are not in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) it has been accepted by courts around the country and in Canada. PA has passed a Daubert hearing in Massachusetts (Lee vs Hendren), a Porter hearing in Connecticut (Formica vs Mastrangelo) and a Mohan hearing in Canada (Fleming vs Fleming). The second edition of….. Read More »

What is the difference between parental alienation and estrangement?

Alienation is the term used to describe children who have been manipulated by one parent through the PA behaviors to unjustifiably reject the other parent (the targeted parent). While the term estrangement is the term used to describe children who have a justified reason (for example, abuse or neglect or abandonment) to reject the parent.