Definition of Parental alienation
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Parental alienation Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
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Parental alienation is a social dynamic when a child expresses unjustified hatred or unreasonably strong dislike of one parent, making access by the rejected parent difficult or impossible. These feelings may be influenced by negative comments by the other parent or grandparents, generally occurring due to divorce or separation. Characteristics, such as lack of empathy and warmth, between the rejected parent and child are other indicators. The term does not apply in cases of actual child abuse, when the child rejects the abusing parent to protect themselves. Parental alienation is controversial in legal and mental health professions, both generally and in specific situations. Terms related to parental alienation include child alienation, pathological alignments, visitation refusal, brainwashing, pathological alienation, the toxic parent and parental alienation syndrome, though the last term is a medical syndrome proposed by psychiatrist Richard Gardner that should be distinguished from parental alienation and is not generally accepted by psychiatrists or courts.
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