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Parental alienation empirical analysis : child best interests or parental rights? Linda C. Neilson

By: Neilson, Linda C.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Vancouver, B.C. : The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children, 2018Description: electronic document (48 pages) ; PDF file.Subject(s): CHILD ABUSE | CHILD CUSTODY | CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE | DOMESTIC VIOLENCE | FAMILY COURT | JUSTICE | CANADAOnline resources: Click here to access online | The Freda Centre Summary: Vigorous debate and controversy surround the scientific validity of parental alienation diagnoses and its associated assessment tools, particularly in connection with their application in the legal system. While some experts contend that the concept has demonstrated scientific validity, many academic researchers, mental health, and child experts as well as experts in the domestic and family violence fields are expressing concern. In this article I explore how Canadian courts are responding to parental alienation claims. The goal is to assess empirically whether or not the academic and professional concerns of critics have an empirical basis. We begin the report with a discussion of critical comments and concerns reported in the academic and professional literature. The concerns and controversies are then connected to an empirical analysis of 357 Canadian trial and appeal cases in which parental alienation was claimed or found by a court. Excluding 15 cases that focused on professional complaints associated with parental alienation, we find that one hundred and forty one of the cases (41.5 %, almost one half) also involved claims of domestic violence and or child abuse. (Author's Introduction). Record #6325
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Vigorous debate and controversy surround the scientific validity of parental alienation diagnoses and its associated assessment tools, particularly in connection with their application in the legal system. While some experts contend that the concept has demonstrated scientific validity, many academic researchers, mental health, and child experts as well as experts in the domestic and family violence fields are expressing concern.

In this article I explore how Canadian courts are responding to parental alienation claims. The goal is to assess empirically whether or not the academic and professional concerns of critics have an empirical basis. We begin the report with a discussion of critical comments and concerns reported in the academic and professional literature. The concerns and controversies are then connected to an empirical analysis of 357 Canadian trial and appeal cases in which parental alienation was claimed or found by a court. Excluding 15 cases that focused on professional complaints associated with parental alienation, we find that one hundred and forty one of the cases (41.5 %, almost one half) also involved claims of domestic violence and or child abuse. (Author's Introduction). Record #6325