Leyfi til að elska : tímarit Foreldrajafnréttis - jan. 2023, Blaðsíða 20
behaviors toward their abusers—rather, the professionals indicated
that the vast majority of abused children engaged in attachment-
enhancing behaviors. These results indicate that when there is a
justified reason for rejecting a parent, such as with severe child phys-
ical abuse, children do not engage in such behaviors.
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and parental alienation. Psychol Publ Pol Law 2020, 26:58–68,
This review paper addresses many misconceptions about parental
alienation that mental health and legal professionals make when
working with clients, which can lead to misdiagnoses and inappropriate
interventions. The author also highlights that evaluators, judges, and
other experts who do not consider the nuances of alienating behaviors
will likely make false conclusions.
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are the targets of parental alienating behaviors and their
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Three samples selected to be representative of the U.S. and Canadian
populations were collected to assess prevalence of parental alienating
behavior exposure and outcomes. Using different measures, the au-
thors determined that approximately 22 million American adults are the
unreciprocating targets of parental alienating behaviors, and over 4
million children are moderately to severely alienated from a parent.
Alienated parents also reported high levels of depression and trauma
symptoms, and nearly half had considered suicide within the last year.
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ilies affected by parental alienation. Manuscript submitted for
publication. Department of Psychology, University of Toronto. In
14. Harman JJ, Kruk E, Hines D: Parental alienating behaviors: an
unacknowledged form of family violence. Psychol Bull 2018,
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breaking the ties that bind. Norton & Co; 2007.
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abuse suffered at the hands of the alienating parent. The children also
reported experiencing problems with current relationships, depression,
anxiety, low-self-worth, guilt, and reduced or delayed educational and
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were involved in custody disputes and dealing with a parent who was
on an active campaign to brainwash their child to hate the other parent.
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interventions that failed to work in remedying the problem (e.g., indi-
vidual therapy for the child alone), and how this issue affects the entire
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families, and children from divorced families. The PARQ measure was
able to differentiate alienated children from the others, as they had the
highest gaps in scores comparing their parents. Lack of ambivalence is
one of several indicators of parental alienation, so this paper indicates
that the measure is one way that can help distinguish parental alien-
ation from other forms of contact refusal.
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Parental alienation and loss Harman et al. 11
www.sciencedirect.com Current Opinion in Psychology 2022, 43:7–12
parent during childhood describe a deep sense of grief,
particularly regarding time lost with the alienated
Alienated children experience not just the loss of a
parent-child relationshipdthey experience a corruption
of reality that creates a loss of identity, childhood and
innocence, as well as connections to their extended
family and communities. Across these losses, the child is
deprived of a multitude of supports and affordances that
foster healthy development. Much is known about how
exposure to PABs harm children. Now is the time to
apply that knowledge to protect future generations of
children from experiencing this pernicious form of
This research did not receive any specific grant from
funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-
Conflict of interest statement
The authors would like to thank Amanda Sillars for sharing her experience
as an alienated child and mother by providing the opening quote for this
Papers of particular interest, published within the period of review,
have been highlighted as:
of special interest
of outstanding interest
1. Bernet W, Lorandos D: Preface. In Parental alienation—science
and law. Edited by Lorandos D, Bernet W, Charles C. Thomas
Publisher, Ltd; 2020. xiii–xviii.
. Verrocchio MC, Baker AJL, Marchetti D: Adult report of child-
hood exposure to parental alienation at different develop-
mental time periods. J Fam Ther 2018, 40:602–618, https://
This study of adults alienated as children drew associations between
exposure to parental alienating behaviors and the experience of
childhood maltreatment, regardless of the gender of the parent who
was alienating the child.
3. Verrocchio MC, Baker AJL, Bernet W: Associations between
exposure to parental alienating behaviors, anxiety, and
depression in an Italian sample of adults. J Forensic Sci 2016,
4. Harman JJ, Bernet W, Harman J: Parental alienation: the
blossoming of a field of study. Curr Dir Psychol Sci 2019, 28:
5. Sims M, Rofail M: Grandparents with little or no contact with
grandchildren- impact on grandparents. J Aging Stud 2013, 2:
. Baker AJL, Miller S, Bernet W, Adebayo T: The assessment of
the attitudes and behaviors about physically abused chil-
dren: a survey of mental health professionals. J Child Fam
Stud 2019, 28:3401–3411, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-
This paper collected data from mental health providers who worked
with severely abused children and had them report on the children’s
behaviors and attitudes toward their abusive parents. This study is
important, as it found that abused children did not engage in rejection
Impact of losses on the needs of the child.
Need Parental role in meeting child’s needs Examples of impacts on the child due to
Physiological Buying food, clothing, housing, medicine. Fewer people to help with the procurement
of food, clothing, housing, and medicine
for the child.
Safety Providing a clean and safe home with a
predictable schedule of routines and
Fewer people to teach the child how to be
safe, how to do chores, how to protect
him/herself, and to protect the child from
Love and belonging Touching the child in a loving and
affectionate manner, affirming the
child’s acceptance and belonging to the
extended family and community.
Fewer people to touch the child in a loving
and affectionate manner, affirming the
child’s acceptance and belonging to the
extended family and community.
Esteem Creating opportunities for the child to make
decisions and share his/her perspective
which is valued.
Fewer people to provide opportunities for
the child to make decisions and share
his/her perspective, which is valued.
Self-actualization Providing the child with opportunities to
make choices, express him or herself,
explore sports and arts, develop skills,
values, tastes, styles, and talents.
Fewer people to provide the child with
opportunities to make choices, express
him or herself, explore sports and arts,
develop skills, values, tastes, styles,
and talents. These opportunities may
not be sufficient but are necessary to
Note. These categorical needs are based on Maslow’s  hierarchy of needs.
10 Separation, Social Isolation, and Loss
Current Opinion in Psychology 2022, 43:7–12 www.sciencedirect.com
MISSIR SEM BÖRN UPPLIFA VIÐ ÚTILOKUN FRÁ FORELDRI JENNIFER J. HARMAN O.FL.