Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental alienation syndrome (PAS) involves the deliberate strategies of one parent in a high-conflict divorce or child custody dispute to manipulate his or her children in such a way that they become separated and detached from the other parent in a predictably harmful fashion. It is estimated that hundreds of thousands of children and their families are affected by parental alienation in the United States and abroad. Some mental health and legal professionals believe it warranted inclusion as a distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) based on its prevalence and numerous harmful psychological effects on individuals, in particular children of divorce, and families. Others argue that although forms of “parental alienation” exist, referring to this systemic issue as a ...

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