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Parental Alienation: February 2013 Archives

Parental Alienation: Parents Behaving Badly or a Mental Disorder?

In what are usually highly contentious divorces or child custody disputes, the term "parental alienation" has been coined to describe what is a form of emotional abuse that occurs when one parent actively works to align their child with him/her to the exclusion of the other parent, without justification, resulting in the child's rejection of the estranged parent.  Merriam-Webster's online dictionary defines alienation as "a withdrawing or separation of a person or a person's affections from an object or position of former attachment; estrangement."  In cases involving parental alienation, there is destruction of a child's once positive relationship with both parents.  As one parent poisons the child against the other, the child's affinity shifts to only one parent while he/she alienates or rejects the other.

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