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Vol. 18, 2002Parental Alienation Syndrome
Parental Alienation Syndrome:A Review of Critical Issues
Attorneys who litigate child custody cases are accustomed tohearing clients charge that their children are being turned againstthem by the other parent.
Allegations of this sort elicit a com-plex array of questions, consequences, and emotions. The mostimportant consideration in these circumstances is that when anallegation of this kind is raised it does not bode well for the chil-dren involved.
If the allegation of manipulation against the other parent isfalse, then one parent seriously misinterprets certain familial be-havior or is lying about the actions of the other parent. Neitherexemplifies the kind of role modeling to which children shouldbe exposed.
*Dr. Turkat is a psychologist in Venice, Florida, and is Courtesy ClinicalAssociate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Flor-ida College of Medicine.
Stanley S. Clawar & Brynne V. Rivlin,
Children Held Hostage:Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children
(1991); Kenneth Byrne,
Brainwashing in Custody Cases: The Parental Alienation Syndrome
, 4 A
. L. 1 (1989); Michael R. Walsh & J. Michael Bone,
Parental AlienationSyndrome: An Age-Old Custody Problem
, 71 F
. B.J. 93 (1997).
At a minimum, this indicates the existence of significant conflict be-tween the parents, and there is ample scientific evidence that interparental con-flict can be harmful to the children involved. Paul Amato & Alan Booth,
TheLegacy of Parents’ Marital Discord: Consequences for Children’s Marital Qual-ity
, 81 J. P
. 627 (2001); Paul Amato & Bruce Keith,
Parental Divorce and the Well-Being of Children: A Meta-Analysis
, 110 P
.26 (1991); Katherine M. Kitzmann & Robert E. Emery,
Child and Family Cop-ing One Year After Mediated and Litigated Child Custody Disputes
, 8 J. F
. 150 (1994); Anita K. Lampel,
Children’s Alignment With Parents inHighly Conflicted Custody Cases
. & C