By choosing cases which met the majority of these criteria, the authors were selecting for situations which embodied severe parental alienation, rather than the more common and more moderate instances of loyalty conflicts which are widely evident in the children of conflictual divorcing parents.
In an effort to better understand the sub-population of divorcing families who manifest an alienation of one parent, these cases were analyzed and data obtained regarding the following variables:
- length of the relationship or marriage prior to separation.
- the age of the children at separation.
- the length of time’ between separation and the onset of the alienation.
- the number of children in each family constellation who exhibited the dynamic.
- the sex of the alienating parent.
- the sex of the children.
- the effectiveness of various interventions in remedying the alienation.