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Parental Alienation and School Adjustment: A Correlational Study

This study has as its main objective to verify the correlation between the parental
alienation factors and school adjustment. To this purpose, it was collected a sample of
229 students at 14,43 years old (amplitude 12 to 19 years old; SD=1,66), being 57,6%
female, 29% from high school and 52,8% from public schools in Joo Pessoa-Paraba.
The participants answered the Alienating Maternal Practices Scale (AMPS), the
Adjustment School Scale (ASC) as well as a questionnaire with social-demographic
information such as age, gender and schooling. The data were analyzed in the SPSS
software (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences), version 2.0. The results presented
a significant correlation between school adjustment and the perception of alienating
maternal practices, specifically with the academic difficulties factors (r = 0,35; p<0,01)
and disciplinary difficulties (r = 0,17; p<0,01) whose correlations were positive. The
opposite could be seen as regards the general aspects about the school and the teachers
factors (r = -0,24; p<0,01) which presented negative correlations. To conclude, it is
necessary an extensive investigation concerning the drawbacks derived from divorce to
the children, such as parental alienation, and then develop intervention proposals which
consider the peculiar aspects of the families, more specifically the parents, in the
infants and adolescents educational process.
Keywords: Divorce; Parental Alienation; School Adjustment



Abstract: The concept of family has been affected by social changes, which led to the
emergence of new family configurations, such as the remarried families, which involve
three or more families in its formation. As a result, this new family model requires each
member to change their roles and adjust their family relationships. In this sense, it is
relevant to comprehend the way people perceive the context and the family members so
that less conflict and more social interaction take place. To fit the purpose of this study,
it was used the Social Perception theory since it emphasizes the way people perceive
the context they are inserted in and how they are influenced by it, ending up modifying
their own behavior. Having said that, this study is aimed at analyzing the adolescents
social perception on remarriage. Three female adolescents participated in this study,
being the three of them children of separated parents, at 14,3 years old. A semistructured and a social-demographic questionnaire. The results showed that the
adolescents do not see the members of their fathers remarried family as part of their
family configuration. The results also presented that there are feelings of anger and
hatred in relation to their stepmother, being referred to by the three adolescents as the
one to blame for their parents separation, a fact that interferes in the family
relationships as well in the fathers remarriage acceptance. In short, it can be concluded
that the adolescents perception on the remarried family and their members are
important sources of information and maintenance of family relationships.

Keywords: Social Perception; Remarried family; Adolescents; Learning