Parental Alienation Syndrome is when one parent,
intentionally influences his/her child or children to takes distance from the
other adult. It is often the mother who
practices PAS in such ways as refusing to talk to the father, avoiding him or
directly insulting him in front of his children. One is to think that this
should make the children resent their mother, but it actually has the opposite
effect. Nowadays it is becoming more and more common that men are inducing
their children with PAS ever since this phenomenon was discovered.
PAS is seen as emotional abuse, and Richard, A. argues in
his article (Parental Alienation Syndrome
(2nd edition) Richard, A. and Gardnern, M.D, 1999) that it actually is
worse than physical or sexual abuse. With the result that children, who have
been exposed to anything out of the latter fact, at some point in life may be
reuniting with the parent. But a victim of PAS will never come in contact with
the targeted parent again.
At first, during the late 80’s and mid 90’s when this syndrome was first
discovered, it was believed that it was women who used themselves of PAS, but
after Richard A. and Gardnern, MD released their first book and the subject
became more widely known to people who are facing divorce, the number of men that
had been convicted of having programmed his children to distance themselves
from the mother increased.
This phenomenon have been tested on later occasions, where they tested 50
undergraduate psychology students from the age 18 to over 50, who studied at
the University of Texas at Dallas and University of North Texas. Thirtytwo of
the students lived with both their parents and seventeen lived with either
their mother or father. The student were given questionnaries with scale based
questions including statements as “My mother wanted me to respect and admire my
father”, then they’de have to rate on a scale from 0-8. As in 0 is ‘strongly disagree’ and 8 would be ‘strongly agree’. This statement were
also asked the other way around later on in the same questionnarie to help the
researches meassure whether they could detect PAS behavior, and who was more
likely to use it, the mother or the father? The research resulted in the
following figures you can see below.
The figures shows that women are more likely to use
PAS to make children distance themselves from their fathers. This study was
made available on the internet in 2011, and yet, you can see from the figures
that women still are more likely to use PAS to program their children into
distance themselves from the father, in both catecories.
I still believe that there are some holes in their
research, things you need to take into consideration here is the family
situation. Why are they divorced? That is a question with major importance for
this kind of study that you need to consider. What if the father was an abuser,
or the mother a drugadict?
And can you really do a study using only 50 test
subjects? To be able to state something as serious as this I believe that they
should have done more studies using more people.
Parental Alienation Syndrome (2nd edition) speaks
Richard, A. and Garndern, MD (1999)