Parental alienation : target parent perspective
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 11:53 authored by Balmer, SK
The present study was conducted to investigate the characteristics and experiences of parents targeted by parental alienation. The aims of the study were to determine target parent experiences of parental alienation post-separation from the alienating parent, and to investigate common target parent characteristics. This was conducted via an online survey. A total of 225 target parents participated, 120 of whom were female (Mage = 40.73 years, SD = 7.05). The current study's findings revealed that target parents were experiencing extremely high severity of exposure to parental alienation tactics at the hand of the alienating parent. Target parent gender and target child age were found to significantly predict variance in exposure to parental alienation. Targeted mothers experienced significantly higher severity of exposure to parental alienation compared to targeted fathers. Finally, the severity of exposure to parental alienation tactics significantly predicted increases in the appraisal of the parental alienation situation as threatening. The present findings contradicted previous literature conclusions that fathers are more commonly alienated, and offered new insights into target parent appraisals of their parental alienation experience. The results signified the seriousness of the impact of exposure to parental alienation for target parents, and highlighted a need for empirical research into the effectiveness of interventions and support services to assist target parents through the process of parental alienation.
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