Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Custody Rights, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Childrens Act 1989

Parental Alienation as a Form of Emotional Child Abuse: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions for Research

This article examines the current state of research on parental alienation, which
reveals that alienation is far more common and debilitating for children and parents than was previously believed. In extreme cases, one can make the argument that parental alienation is a serious form of emotional child abuse. Careful scrutiny of key elements of parental alienation in the research literature consistently identifies two core elements of child abuse: parental alienation as a significant form of harm to children that is attributable to human action. As a form of individual child abuse, parental alienation calls for a child protection response. As a form of collective abuse, parental alienation warrants fundamental reform of the family law system in the
direction of shared parenting as the foundation of family law. There is an emerging scientific consensus on prevalence, effects, and professional recognition of parental alienation as a form of child abuse. In response, the authors discuss the need for research on effectiveness of parental alienation interventions, particularly in more extreme cases. This paper argues for more quantitative and qualitative research focused on four pillars of intervention at micro and macro levels, with specific recommendations for further study of child protection responses, reunification programs, and other therapeutic approaches. Continue reading “Parental Alienation as a Form of Emotional Child Abuse: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions for Research”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Custody Rights, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Childrens Act 1989

Parental Alienation (Syndrome)-A serious form of psychological child abuse

Induced parental alienation is a specific form of psychological child abuse, which is listed in DSM-5, the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), under diagnostic code V 995.51 “child psychological
abuse”. Untreated induced parental alienation can lead to long-term traumatic psychological and physical effects in the children concerned. This fact is still not given sufficient attention in family court cases. The article gives a condensed overview of parental alienation, summarising its definition, the symptoms and the various levels of severity. It also describes some major alienation techniques and possible psychosomatic and psychiatric effects of induced parental alienation. Finally,
attention is drawn to programmes of prevention and intervention now used and evaluated in some countries. The article concludes with two real-life examples from psychiatric practice, and a comprehensive list of international references. Continue reading “Parental Alienation (Syndrome)-A serious form of psychological child abuse”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Childrens Act 1989

An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation

Researchers are urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as family violence

According to Colorado State University social psychologist Jennifer Harman, about 22 million American parents have been the victims of behaviors that lead to something called parental alienation. Having researched the phenomenon for several years, Harman is urging psychological, legal and child custodial disciplines to recognize parental alienation as a form of both child abuse and intimate partner violence. Harman has authored a review article in Psychological Bulletin defining the behaviors associated with parental alienation and advocating for more research into its prevalence and outcomes. Continue reading “An understudied form of child abuse and ‘intimate terrorism’: Parental alienation”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Parental Alienation PA

FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND DETERMINATION OF SUSPECTED PSYCHOLOGICAL MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

These guidelines are written to provide front-line child protection workers with the
information and tools to understand what psychological maltreatment (PM) is, to detect it in all its forms, to understand how it relates to other types of maltreatment, and to determine the nature and degree of its existence. They can also provide guidance to child welfare agencies and family or criminal courts for cases where PM may be an issue.

  1. Nature and Significance of Psychological Maltreatment
    Humans are psychosocial beings. Beyond basic survival needs for food, water, shelter,
    temperature control, and physical health, human needs are primarily psychological in
    nature: to be safe from danger; to be loved and cared for; to love and care for others; to be respected as a unique and valued individual; and to have a say in one’s life

[1, 2, 3].These needs are fulfilled for the most part through social experiences. The degree and manner in which these needs are met determines, to a large extent, a person’s evolving capacities, identity, and behavior. These psychological needs are so vital to the health andwell-being of the individual that having them met should be considered a basic right

[4],and in fact, they have been identified as foundational for human rights [5, 6].
Psychological maltreatment (PM) occurs when the child’s attempts to have these
psychological needs met are thwarted, distorted, or corrupted. Continue reading “FOR THE INVESTIGATION AND DETERMINATION OF SUSPECTED PSYCHOLOGICAL MALTREATMENT OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS”

Posted in Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, NSPCC

Recognising and responding to abuse

How disclosure happens

Children and young people may disclose abuse in a variety of ways, including:

  • directly– making specific verbal statements about what’s happened to them
  • indirectly – making ambiguous verbal statements which suggest something is wrong
  • behaviourally – displaying behaviour that signals something is wrong (this may or may not be deliberate)
  • non-verbally – writing letters, drawing pictures or trying to communicate in other ways.

Children and young people may not always be aware that they are disclosing abuse through their actions and behaviour.

Sometimes children and young people make partial disclosures of abuse. This means they give some details about what they’ve experienced, but not the whole picture. They may withhold some information because they:

  • are afraid they will get in trouble with or upset their family
  • want to deflect blame in case of family difficulties as a result of the disclosure
  • feel ashamed and/or guilty
  • need to protect themselves from having to relive traumatic events.

When children do speak out it is often many years after the abuse has taken place (McElvaney, 2015). Continue reading “Recognising and responding to abuse”

Posted in Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Pathogenic Parenting

Childhood sexual abuse and pathogenic parenting

From the Missouri Alcoholism Research Center at Washington University, Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri Alcoholism Research Center at the University of Missouri, Department of Psychology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO and Finch University of Health Sciences}The Chicago Medical School, North Chicago, IL, USA ; and Queensland Institute of Medical Research and Joint Genetics Program, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

 

Background. We examined the relationship between childhood sexual abuse (CSA), and interviewees’ recollections of pathogenic parenting, testing for possible retrospective biases in the recollections of those who have experienced CSA.

Methods. Information about CSA, parental divorce and interviewees’ recollections of parental rejection, parental overprotection and perceived autonomy (as assessed through a shortened version of the Parental Bonding Instrument) was obtained through telephone interviews with 3626 Australian twins who had also returned self-report questionnaires several years earlier. Recollections of parental behaviours were compared for individuals from pairs in which neither twin, at least one twin, or both twins reported CSA.

Results. Significant associations were noted between CSA and paternal alcoholism and between CSA and recollections of parental rejection. For women, individuals from CSA-discordant pairs reported levels of parental rejection that were significantly higher than those obtained from CSAnegative pairs. The levels of parental rejection observed for twins from CSA-discordant pairs did not differ significantly from those obtained from CSA-concordant pairs, regardless of respondent’s abuse status. For men from CSA-discordant pairs, respondents reporting CSA displayed a tendency to report higher levels of parental rejection than did respondents not reporting CSA. Other measures of parenting behaviour (perceived autonomy and parental overprotection) failed to show a clear relationship with CSA.

Conclusions. The relationship between CSA and respondents’ recollections of parental rejection is not due solely to retrospective bias on the part of abused individuals and, consistent with other studies, may reflect a pathological family environment with serious consequences for all siblings Continue reading “Childhood sexual abuse and pathogenic parenting”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Pathogenic Parenting

Pathogenic Parenting

So Pathogenic Parenting describes parenting that is so abnormal or pathological, that by way of their aberrant and distorted behaviors and parenting practices, the Pathogenic Parent actually creates mental illness in a child that actually cause the child to terminate or cut off their relationship with the other parent … Continue reading “Pathogenic Parenting”

Posted in Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Drug Abuse, Parental Alienation PA

COAP (Children of Addicted Parents and People)

COAP (Children of Addicted Parents and People)
Website: www.coap.org.uk

Online community for young people affected by someone else’s addiction to drugs, alcohol or addictive behaviour such as gambling. Continue reading “COAP (Children of Addicted Parents and People)”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Drug Abuse

When Your Grandchild’s Parent Is Addicted

It’s universally understood that parents who abuse drugs or alcohol are not fully capable of taking care of their children. Addiction is a disease that hijacks the brain- when a parent’s mind is focused on chasing the next high, it leaves little room for them to put food on the table, pay the next rent check or read a bedtime story.

As more families are ravaged by addiction, grandparents are stepping up to the plate. It’s becoming increasingly common for grandparents to play the role of primary caregiver to their grandchildren as their parents struggle with substance addiction. According to Generations United, approximately 2.6 million children in the United States are being raised by their grandparents.

With so many grandparents taking on the new-found responsibility of raising a grandchild, how can they come to terms with their child’s addiction and successfully support a grandchild broken by their parent’s addiction?

Accept That Addiction Is Not You Or Your Grandchild’s Fault

Continue reading “When Your Grandchild’s Parent Is Addicted”

Posted in Alienation, Child abuse, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection

The Complexity of Investigating Possible Sexual Abuse of a Child

Sexual abuse of children is a serious matter and it is intended in what follows to provide information that may be of value to professionals in various situations. I am often asked to appear in courtrooms to provide evidence for or against whether child sex abuse has occurred.
We will consider the following three aspects;

    1. Some of the potential signs of behaviour of children that possibly have been sexually abused, but could also constitute normal non abuse behaviour.
    2. The evaluation of children who may have been sexually abused. To carry this out there is a need for skill, and unbiased, independent thinking.
    3. The possible long term effects of a child who has been sexually abused.

 

The most commons symptoms have already been delineated in part 1. They include early sexualised behaviour. In addition young children frequently become anxious and suffer from nightmares, bedwetting and sometimes PTSD. Some children become aggressive or withdrawn or regress to a more infantile level (Kendall-Tackett et al., 1993).

 

Continue reading “The Complexity of Investigating Possible Sexual Abuse of a Child”