Ten Facts About Parental Alienation
April is Parental Alienation Awareness Month so I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss 10 facts about parental alienation. (Also, read my related column “Parental Alienation Awareness Month.”)
Dr. Amy Baker is a highly respected researcher in the field of parental alienation and the author of the seminal book “Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome.”
She previously was interviewed on DadsDivorce.com about the long-term effects parental alienation has on children as they grow older. (Note: If parental alienation is evident in your divorce case, contact the divorce lawyers for men at the Cordell & Cordell Law Firm for information on fighting for your rights.)
Baker shared 10 facts about parental alienation she discovered in her research:
- Fathers can be alienating parents.
- Non-custodial parents can be alienating parents.
- PAS can occur in intact families.
- Alienation is not fully internalized even by the most rejecting child.
- PAS involves multiple losses including extended families.
- Many alienating parents have physically and sexually abused their children.
- Alienating parents act like cult figures where they stunt the critical thinking capacities of their children.
- Long-term effects of PAS include low self-esteem, depression, trust issues, high rates of divorce, drug abuse, low achievement and intergenerational cycle of PAS.
- Alienating parents tend to have personality disorders such as narcissism and borderline personality.
- No generalizations can be made regarding event trigger or catalyst for realization of PAS as an adult.
In conclusion, Dr. Baker advised targeted parents not to take the rejection personally. One needs to maintain the highest standards possible. You must separate the message from the messenger. Respond in a way not too passive but not too reactive.
For parents who still have contact with their child, have empathy for the child. The child is being manipulated. Also, be different from the PAS message.
For those who no longer have contact, never give up hope nor give up on your child.
I would also like to recommend that you register for a very special workshop co-sponsored by DePaul Law Center and Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO). It is called “Finding Your Way Out of the Painful Path of Parent Alienation and Visitation Interference: Education for the Parties, Attorney and Courts.”
It is being held on Saturday, May 21, in Chicago.
For more information, please visit the PAAO 2011 Chicago Conference on Parental Alienation website.
My name is Robert Ferrer. I am a researcher and archivist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Although it is in Computer Science, I also apply the same heuristic principles in my interests in child development and family law. As such I’ve been working with the Children’s Rights Council of Illinois and Illinois Fathers in providing the background information in law and child development research for various endeavors. I have been collecting, reading and pondering the wealth of information dealing with divorce and children from many perspectives, including child development, family studies and law.
I’ve been attending the sessions of the Illinois Family Law Study Committee where they are currently reviewing current statutes for massive revisions. I’ve been in communications with many of its members and have established a collegial relationship. I have attended conferences on Contemporary Families, PAS and ADR. I have written several proposals in the attempt to mitigate parental loss, more fully integrating current research with proposed policy.