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Losses experienced by Children Alienated from a Parent

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 23:31 authored by Harman, JJ, Mandy MatthewsonMandy Matthewson, Baker, AJL
Parental alienation occurs when a child aligns with one parent and unjustifiably rejects the other as a result of parental alienating behaviors. This paper provides an overview of current research and theory regarding the losses alienated children endure. Parental alienating behaviors alter the child’s beliefs, perceptions, and memories of the alienated parent, triggering a cascade of profound losses for the child. These losses include loss of individual self; childhood experiences; extended family; community; and activities and relationships essential for healthy development. Consequently, alienated children often experience ongoing and ambiguous losses and thereby suffer disenfranchised grief in isolation.


Publication title

Current Opinion in Psychology




School of Psychological Sciences


Elsevier Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2021 Elsevier Ltd.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Mental health

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