What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Anyway?

I'm sure that the average person has heard of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) by now, with the current divorce rate at about 50%. Father's Rights organizations (also disguised as equal parenting or children's rights organizations) have used this syndrome increasingly to falsely claim that women are preventing their access to their children.

Dr. Richard A. Gardner recognized this syndrome and breathed life into PAS in 1985 in an article entitled, Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation. It consist of 8 symptoms that can be observed in a child affected by PAS:

1. The Campaign of Denigration
2. Weak, Frivolous, or Absurd Rationalizations
3. Lack of Ambivalence
4. The "Independent-Thinker" Phenomenon
5. Reflexive Support of the Alienating Parent in the Parental Conflict
6. Absence of Guilt Over Cruelty to and/or Exploitation of the Alienated Parent
7. Presence of Borrowed Scenarios
8. Spread of the Animosity to the Extended Family and Friends of the Alienated Parent

The symptoms of PAS are attributable to the custodial parent, usually the mother, who initiates in engaging the child in denigrating the noncustodial parent; and subsequently, or rather simultaneously, the child makes his/her own contributions, thus amplifying the effects. The father is seen as the victim, the mother is the perpetrator, traditionally. It is observed only in the context of divorce.

At face value, there may not appear to be anything wrong with this. I will attempt to examine it, in the next week.

0 advocates for peace: