So what are the criteria for the diagnosis of parental alienation? It is a difficult task for courts to decide in cases of parental alienation. This is because the concept of alienation and its legal implications are still relatively new and untested.
To assist with determining if alienation has occurred, criteria have been developed that can help attorneys evaluate the possible effects of past marital/custodial issues or interventions on a child’s emotional well-being.
In this blog post, we will discuss these criteria as they apply to identify parent-child relationships affected by parental alienation and how to combat it.
Keep on reading for those criteria for the diagnosis of parental alienation to know more.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is defined as the process by which one parent undermines a child’s relationship with the other parent. It can manifest itself in many forms, such as alienating behavior, parental manipulation of the child’s feelings toward the other parent, and making inflammatory statements about the other parent.
Some signs of parental alienation include:
– The child’s refusal to visit the other parent or communicate with them
– The child’s negative views of the other parent without supporting evidence
– A lack of guilt when engaging in behaviors that hurt or anger the other parent
– An insistence on being loyal to only one parent.
Now come to some criteria for the diagnosis of parental alienation right below.
Criteria for the Diagnosis of Parental Alienation
Identifying parental alienation is dependent on the severity of signs in the child, not the alienator. The two major behavioral indicators that require special attention are as follows:
Campaign of denigration against the target parent.
- The child can frequently present a seemingly endless list of grievances, and many of these may be unimportant or unfounded.
- Additionally, the kid might deny ever having experienced any joy with their other parent even though this is demonstrably untrue.
Unsubstantiated justifications for the child’s condemnation of the parent.
- The child’s intense animosity and contempt for the situation seems to be unwarranted, as it is disproportionate in comparison to what they are describing.
- They may announce their concerns, but do so without displaying fearful responses that would usually accompany such claims.
When a child displays the two criteria mentioned above plus any additional two or more of these signs, then it is an example of parental alienation. Check out some criteria of the diagnosis of parental alienation below:
The child displays a dichotomous way of thinking, idealizing the parent that is alienating them and devaluing the target parent.
With pride, the child claims that their choice to turn away from the target parent is of their own volition, unburdened by any manipulation on part of the alienating parent.
Unconditional endorsement of the ostracizing parent towards the victimized parent.
When a dispute arises, the child will instinctively align with their alienating parent.
A lack of remorse for subjecting the target parent to mistreatment and exploitation.
The child may display hostile, impolite, and even violent behavior towards the target parent without displaying any regret for their actions.
Children targeted by parental alienation may parrot the same statements they have heard their alienating parent make, while younger siblings will often mimic what they have seen or heard from their older sibling.
These children are typically unable to provide specifics about the events that were allegedly witnessed.
The child’s enmity towards the target parent’s family members has intensified.
Frequently, animosity and resentment is directed towards the extended family or friends of a target parent that doesn’t even have any contact with them.
At times, these negative feelings can also extend to the pets belonging to this targeted parent.
Is alienation in the DSM?
Parental Alienation is a vicious form of child psychological abuse and has been included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) as V 995.51 “child psychological abuse”. The DSM-5, which was issued by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), reveals that this type of maltreatment should not be ignored.
How hard is it for us to prove alienation?
Proving allegations of parental alienation can be a challenge. To ensure their child knows they are loved and to bolster the proof, it is essential for parents to keep an open, trustworthy relationship with them while also taking steps that prove parental alienation has taken place.
What are the characteristics of alienated children?
Isolated children usually appear rude, hateful, and unfeeling to their targeted parent; even more so, they feel no remorse for their cruel treatment. Moreover, there is an absence of gratitude from the alienated child toward any gifts or financial support provided by the targeted parent.
What are the factors of alienation?
Isolation and estrangement can be a sign of alienation, wherein someone detaches themselves from their environment or people around them.
You may observe this kind of behaviour when the affected individual shows signs of refusing to accept support from family members or peers in society, as well as exhibiting feelings of remoteness and disconnection – even towards their own emotions!
Parental alienation is a serious problem and can have long-lasting effects on children. A child targeted by parental alienation may present with criteria such as intense animosity, unwavering commitment to the alienating parent, independent-thinker phenomenon, unconditional endorsement of the ostracizing parent towards the victimized parent, a lack of remorse for mistreatment, borrowed scenarios, and an intensified enmity towards the target parent’s family members.
It is important to be aware of these criteria for the diagnosis of parental alienation in order to properly diagnose parental alienation and take steps to address it. If you or someone you know is dealing with parental alienation, it is important to seek help from a trained professional.
- American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
- Gardner, R. A. (1998). The parental alienation syndrome: A guide for mental health and legal professionals.: Jason Aronson Incorporated.
- Kelly, J., Johnson, M., & Campbell, M. (2008). The role of social support in parental alienation syndrome. Family Court Review, 46(1), 84-101.
- Kreisberg, S. & Amaral, A. (2012). Parental Alienation Syndrome: Definitions and Legal Considerations. In S.