Parental alienation syndrome


Parental alienation syndrome

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a term coined by Richard A. Gardner to describe what he referred to as "a disturbance in which children are obsessively preoccupied with depreciation and/or criticism of a parent. In other words, denigration that is unjustified and or exaggerated."

The concept of "Parental Alienation Syndrome" has been extensively criticized by scientists and jurists and has been described as be inadmissible in the courtroom based on both science and law.cite journal|url=http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/docs/Hoult.pdf |author=Jennifer Hoult, J.D.|title=The Evidentiary Admissibility of Parental Alienation Syndrome: Science, Law, and Policy |VOLUME=Vol. 26 ♦ No. 1 ♦ Spring 2006 |journal=Children’s Legal Rights Journal|format=PDF] cite journal|url=http://www.afccnet.org/pdfs/BenchGuide.pdf |title=Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence: A Judge’s Guide |author=Clare Dalton, LLM & Leslie M. Drozd, PhD et al |publisher=National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges|format=PDF]

Characteristics

Gardner states that Parental Alienation Syndrome can result from alienation that occurs when a parent criticizes the other parent or stepparent directly to a child or in front of the children. It will most likely occur during divorce, custody hearings, upon remarriage of a parent, or most commonly during primary contact with the children. The effect is to produce a disturbance in the child's relationship with the other parent. [ cite journal
last =Rand
first =Deirdre Conway
authorlink =
title =The Spectrum Of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I)
journal =American Journal of Forensic Psychology
volume =15
url=http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rand01.php
accessdate =2007-03-11
] [ cite journal
last =Rand
first =Deirdre Conway | authorlink =
coauthors = | title =The Spectrum Of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part II) | journal =American Journal of Forensic Psychology
volume =15
issue =4
year = 1997
url =http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/rand11.php
accessdate =2007-03-11
]

Gardner proposed that children have been taught by an alienating parent to hate the targeted parent, to the point of wanting to eliminate the targeted parent from their lives.Fact|date=August 2008 He considered this psychological abuse and a form of psychological abuse that has clear-cut unmistakable signs and symptoms.Fact|date=August 2008

Wallerstein and Kelly described a "Medea complex" with similar dynamics in the 1970s. Professionals who work with divorcing parents sometimes describe the process as "brainwashing", a manifestation of complex behaviors that can occur within families during high-conflict divorce proceedings.

Legal situation in the UK

The legal system in the United Kingdom has seen argument about parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome as is illustrated by comments the folowing cases:

*Lady Justice Hale (in "Re K (Contact: Psychiatric Report)" [1995] 2 FLR 432) stated:

:It is my unhappy experience, borne out by other anecdotal evidence and confirmed by the Official Solicitor's department that there seems to be an increasing number of cases coming before the family courts where contact between a young child and the absent parent has become bedevilled by stubborn opposition to contact being shown by the child which may, or may not, be evidence of some implacable hostility on the part of the other parent for good reason or for no reason at all.

Since The Children Act requires that the views of the child need to be made known to the court, fathers' rights campaigners claim that the mother sometimes alienates a child against his or her father and that this then supports the mother's case in court to banish the father.

*Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, President of the Family division, (the top UK family court judge) stated (in "Re L, V, M, H (Contact: Domestic Violence)" [2002] 2 FLR 334 at 351):

:There is, of course, no doubt that some parents, particularly mothers, are responsible for alienating their children from their fathers without good reason and thereby creating this sometimes insoluble problem. That unhappy state of affairs, well known in family courts, is a long way from recognised syndrome requiring mental health professionals to play an expert role.

Triggering Events Parental Alienation

As published in the American Journal of Family Therapy, remarriage may cause a parent to initiate or increase the brainwashing of a child causing or increasing parental alienation. [ [http://canadiancrc.com/Parental_Alienation/Warshak_Remarriage_Trigger_Parental_Alienation_Syndrome_2000.aspx Remarriage as a Trigger of Parental Alienation Syndrome, American Journal of Family Therapy.] ] .

Criticisms of the term Parental Alienation Syndrome in the United States

The American Psychological Association states on their website that their 1996 "Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family" reported a lack of data supporting the existence of the syndrome, and expressed concern about the use of the term.cite web
title =Statement on Parental Alienation Syndrome
publisher =American Psychological Association
date =2005-10-28
url =http://www.apa.org/releases/passyndrome.html
accessdate =2007-03-11
] Critics state that it is used as an excuse by abusers to escape responsibility for their actions. Critics also state that parental alienation syndrome has been rejected by parts of the legal community, stating that is "discredited" and "junk science" and that its use should not be admissible in the courtroom.cite press release
title =Child Abuse Experts Applaud Legal Community for Rejecting Parental Alienation Syndrome
publisher =The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence
date =2006-07-12
url =http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/pas/PR_PAS.html
accessdate =2007-03-12
]

Concerns that Parental Alienation Syndrome can be misdiagnosed and used by abusive parents against appropriately protective parents in order to win custody have been raised by the APACitation
title =American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence And The Family
publisher = American Psychological Association
year =1996
location =Washington, DC
] and Gardner amongst others. [cite journal
last =Dalton
first = Clare
authorlink =
coauthors =Leslie M. Drozd, Hon. Frances Q.F. Wong
title =Navigating Custody and Visitation Evaluations in Cases with Domestic Violence:A Judge’s Guide
pages = p. 19
publisher =National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
year =2006
url =http://www.afccnet.org/pdfs/BenchGuide.pdf
accessdate = 2007-03-12 |format=PDF
] In 1988, Gardner wrote:

:"Unfortunately, the term parental alienation syndrome is often used to refer to the animosity that a child may harbor against a parent who has actually abused the child, especially over an extended period. The term has been used to apply to the major categories of parental abuse, namely, physical, sexual, and emotional. Such application indicates a misunderstanding of the parental alienation syndrome. The term is applicable only when the parent has not exhibited anything close to the degree of alienating behavior that might warrant the campaign of denigration exhibited by the child." [Richard A. Gardner, "Recommendations for Dealing with Parents who Induce a Parental Alienation Syndrome in their Children", "Journal of Divorce & Remarriage", 1998.] In a 1996 report, the APA communicated concern that custody evaluators "may accuse [the mother] of alienating the children from the father and may recommend giving custody to the father in spite of a history of violence."

Gardner's formulation itself has received criticism. According to Kenneth H. Waldron, Ph.D. and David E. Joanis, J.D., "Gardner's conceptualization of the problem and the dynamics underlying the problem proved at best incomplete, if not simplistic and erroneous. He portrays the alienating parent as virtually solely responsible for the dynamic, turning the vulnerable child against the innocent target parent."Kenneth H. Waldron, Ph.D. and David E. Joanis, J.D.," [http://fact.on.ca/Info/pas/waldron.htm Understanding and Collaboratively Treating Parental Alienation Syndrome] " American Journal of Family Law. Vol. 10. 121-133 (1996).] It has been stated that the parental alienation syndrome should not be admitted in court, due to evidentiary and causation problems with its theory and due to the dangerous feeling of reliability and believability. [cite journal |last=Wood |first=CL |year=1994 |title=The parental alienation syndrome: a dangerous aura of reliability |journal=Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review |volume=29 |pages=1367–1415 |url=http://fact.on.ca/Info/pas/wood94.htm |accessdate= 2008-04-12 |quote= ]

American Family Court Case law

American court rulings have recognized that children can be brainwashed to hate, or be alienated from, a parent. [ [http://canadiancrc.com/Parental_Alienation/Parental_Alienation_US_Other_Country_Court_Rulings_PAS.aspx American Case Law] American Court Case law. ]

U.K. and European Family Court Case Law

U.K. and other Europeans countries' family courts fully recognize the brainwashing of children resulting in parental alienation. [ [http://canadiancrc.com/Parental_Alienation/Parental_Alienation_Canadian_Court_Rulings_PAS.aspx European Court decision on Parental Alienation] European family court case law]

Canadian Family Court Case law

Canadian family court fully recognize the brainwashing of children resulting in parental alienation. [ [http://canadiancrc.com/Parental_Alienation/Parental_Alienation_Canadian_Court_Rulings_PAS.aspx Canadian Parental Alienation case law summary] Canadian family court case law list] The most recent major decision by Canadian courts was the decision of Justice James Turnbull of the Superior Court of Justice - Ontario which ordered the child into treatment and deprogramming. [ [http://canadiancrc.com/Newspaper_Articles/Globe_and_Mail_Judge_rules_father_brainwashed_son_into_hating_mother_15MAY08.aspx Judge Rules Father Brainwashed Son into Hating Mother] The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper, May 15, 2008]

Australian Family Court Case Law

The concept of Parent Alienation Syndrome was first published in the Australian Family Lawyer magazine in 1989 by Dr Kenneth Byrne, a consultant forensic psychologist of Melbourne. The article was titled "Brainwashing in Custody Cases: The Parental Alienation Syndrome". [ [http://www.canadiancrc.com/Parental_Alienation/Child_Brainwashing_in_Custody_Cases-Parental_Alienation_Australian_Family_Law_K_Byrne_1989.aspx Brainwashing in Custody Cases: The Parental Alienation Syndrome] ] The Australian Broadcasting Corporation ( ABC ) TV show "Background briefing" aired 18th February 2007 with host Jane Shields provides information about parental alienation in Australia [ [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2007/1847340.htm ABC background briefing 18th February 2007] Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV show transripts] Education about Parent Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome has been provided and supported by Australian fathers' groups such as the Shared Parenting Council Australia [ [http://www.familylawwebguide.com.au/webguide/index.php?page=pas] ] , Dads in distress [http://www.dadsindistress.asn.au/information_pas.html Dads in Distress Dads in Distress] ] and The Mens Rights Agency [ [http://www.mensrights.com.au/index.php?menu_cd=ptg&cat_cd=pas The Mens Rights Agency ( Australia )] ]

In other languages

In Polish "PAS" is called "Syndrom Gardnera", [ [http://www.superkid.pl/index.php/content/view/69/31/ SuperKid - Syndrom Gardnera, a sprawa ojca ] ] and should therefore not be confused with Gardner's syndrome (which is "Zespół Gardnera" in Polish).

ee also

*Child abuse
*Emotional abuse
*Biparentalness
*Psychological trauma

References


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