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Are intensive parental alienation treatments effective and safe for children and adolescents? Jean Mercer

By: Mercer, Jean.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: Journal of Child Custody.Publisher: Taylor & Francis, 2019Subject(s): ATTACHMENT | CHILD CUSTODY | FAMILY COURT | FAMILY LAW | INTERVENTION | JUSTICE | UNITED STATESOnline resources: Read abstract | Special issue: Part I | Special issue: Part II In: Journal of Child Custody, 2019, 16(1): 67-113Summary: Strong claims have been made for the possibility of diagnostic discrimination between children who refuse contact with a nonpreferred divorced parent due to parental alienation (PA) created by the preferred parent and those who refuse for other reasons such as abuse. PA proponents have also argued that interventions, which include custody changes, can alter the alienated children’s attitudes and create positive behavior toward the nonpreferred parent. This article examines the plausibility of PA diagnostic and treatment claims and relevant empirical evidence. It is concluded that PA advocates have failed to provide empirical support for the safety and effectiveness of their methods and that custody proceedings should take these facts into consideration. Future research directions based on established understanding of child development are suggested. (Author's abstract). See related articles published in Volume 16(1): Special Issue Part I: Misperceptions and Misapplications of Research in Family Law Cases: Myths of “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and Implanted False Memories, and Volume 16(2): Special Issue Part II: Misperceptions and Misapplications of Research in Family Law Cases. (Guest Editor for both issues: Morgan Shaw). Record #6326
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Journal of Child Custody, 2019, 16(1): 67-113

Strong claims have been made for the possibility of diagnostic discrimination between children who refuse contact with a nonpreferred divorced parent due to parental alienation (PA) created by the preferred parent and those who refuse for other reasons such as abuse. PA proponents have also argued that interventions, which include custody changes, can alter the alienated children’s attitudes and create positive behavior toward the nonpreferred parent. This article examines the plausibility of PA diagnostic and treatment claims and relevant empirical evidence. It is concluded that PA advocates have failed to provide empirical support for the safety and effectiveness of their methods and that custody proceedings should take these facts into consideration. Future research directions based on established understanding of child development are suggested. (Author's abstract).

See related articles published in Volume 16(1): Special Issue Part I: Misperceptions and Misapplications of Research in Family Law Cases: Myths of “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and Implanted False Memories, and Volume 16(2): Special Issue Part II: Misperceptions and Misapplications of Research in Family Law Cases. (Guest Editor for both issues: Morgan Shaw). Record #6326