Parental Alienation-Development and Validation of a Behavioral Anchor Scale
The content analysis indicates that three items are related to factor one and highlight the child’s unconvincing arguments regarding the rejection of the alienated parent.
When giving these arguments, the child is staring with an accusing look, at the same
time with a convincing but yet tense and defensive attitude. Thus, the factor one may be
labelled as “unconvincing arguments”. This is the main factor that is explaining most of
the scale. The high importance of this factor explains the need of systematic observation of
the situations that generated the child’s arguments. This is one of the two main factors of
the model, the second being animosity towards parents’ close relatives.
Three other items are related to the second factor and express the extension of the
child’s animosity upon the rejected parent’s friends or extended family. The animosity is
Sustainability manifested by gestures and face grimaces of depreciation and scorn, by a defensive bodily
attitude, and the avoidance of or no eye contact when talking about them. This factor may
be labelled as “animosity expansion”.
Three items saturate the third factor, and they are focused on the denigration of the
rejected parent. The children affected in this direction are using insulting names in respect
to this parent, they criticize him/her and have a sharp tone when talking about him/her.
Thus, factor three may be called “denigration of the rejected parent.”
The absence of the child’s ambivalence towards the rejected parent is manifested by
the sharp way of bringing up counterarguments but also by the lack of spontaneous or
challenge-based verbalization as well as the lack of the positive experiences shared with
this parent. Items describing these issues are loaded into factor four, which may be titled
as the “absence of ambivalence”.
The three items related to the factor five are focused on the unconditional support of
the preferred parent. The children who were subject to this criterion are verbally approving
the alienating parent’s negative attitude towards the other parent, they even justify it and
find arguments to support it. Therefore, this factor may be called “unconditional support”.
Factor six, due to the items it usually loads, seems to be closely linked to the fact
that the child states that the parent’s rejection is a personal rejection based on his/her
own opinions and, at the same time, he/she is building several scenarios to support this.
This factor may be called “the independent thinker phenomenon”.