Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews

This VAWnet document provides a historical and research overview of Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation, identifies strategic issues for advocates working with victims, and offers guidelines to improve courtsí treatment of these issues.

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VAWnet Summary:

Parental Alienation Syndrome & Parental Alienation: Research Reviews by Joan S. Meier (January 2009).

Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and parental alienation (PA) are often invoked in legal and legislative contexts addressing the rights of fathers and mothers in custody or visitation litigation. Indeed, alienation claims have become ubiquitous in custody cases where domestic violence or child abuse is alleged as grounds to reject mothers' requests to limit paternal access to their children. This paper provides a historical and research overview of PAS and PA, identifies strategic issues for advocates working with abused women and children, and offers guidelines to improve courts' treatment of these issues. While PAS and PA have much in common both as theories and with respect to how they are used in court, they have distinct scientific and research bases and critiques. This paper, therefore, addresses them separately.

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