Initial descriptionParental alienation syndrome was a term coined by
CharacteristicsGardner described PAS as a preoccupation by the child with criticism and deprecation of a parent. Gardner stated that PAS occurs when, in the context of child custody disputes, one parent deliberately or unconsciously attempts to alienate a child from the other parent.
According to Gardner, PAS is characterized by a cluster of eight symptoms that appear in the child. These include;
-a campaign of denigration and hatred against the targeted parent;
-weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for this deprecation and hatred;
-lack of the usual ambivalence about the targeted parent;
-strong assertions that the decision to reject the parent is theirs alone (the "independent-thinker phenomenon");
-reflexive support of the favored parent in the conflict;
-lack of guilt over the treatment of the alienated parent;
-use of borrowed scenarios and phrases from the alienating parent;
-and the denigration not just of the targeted parent but also to that parent's extended family and friends.
Despite frequent citations of these factors in scientific literature, "the value ascribed to these factors has not been explored with professionals in the field."
Gardner and others have divided PAS into mild, moderate and severe levels. The number and severity of the eight symptoms displayed increase through the different levels. The recommendations for management differ according to the severity level of the child's symptoms. While a diagnosis of PAS is made based on the child's symptoms, Gardner stated that any change in custody should be based primarily on the symptom level of the alienating parent.
-In mild cases, there is some parental programming against the targeted parent, but little or no disruption of visitation, and Gardner did not recommend court-ordered visitation.
-In moderate cases, there is more parental programming and greater resistance to visits with the targeted parent. Gardner recommended that primary custody remain with the programming parent if the brainwashing was expected to be discontinued, but if not, that custody should be transferred to the targeted parent. In addition, therapy with the child to stop alienation and remediate the damaged relationship with the targeted parent was recommended.
-In severe cases, children display most or all of the 8 symptoms, and will refuse steadfastly to visit the targeted parent, including threatening to run away or commit suicide if the visitation is forced. Gardner recommended that the child be removed from the alienating parent's home into a transition home before moving into the home of the targeted parent. In addition, therapy for the child is recommended. Gardner's proposed intervention for moderate and severe PAS, including court-ordered transfer to the alienated parent, fines, house arrest, incarceration, have been critiqued for their punitive nature towards the alienating parent and alienated child, and for the risk of abuse of power and violation of their civil rights. With time, Gardner revised his views and expressed less support for the most aggressive management strategies.
More can be read about this subject at wikipedia.org
To me, this reeks of a familiar CPS trend. How many parents (and grand parents) are kept from their children?
*The posts made in this blog are of our opinion only* Without Prejudice UCC 1-207