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The scientific and legal status of parental alienation


Parental alienation occurs when a child becomes psychologically estranged from one parent, typically in the context of divorce and custody proceedings. The implication is that one parent has "brain washed" the child into hating or fearing the other parent. The charge of parental alienation is particularly contentious when allegations of child maltreatment are involved. The goal of our project is to conduct initial research on the scientific and legal status of parental alienation as applied to Brazilian and United States family courts. Brazil is the first national jurisdiction to have a law against parental alienation. The difference in the two countries' laws permits a natural experiment to examine the ramifications of legal recognition of parental alienation. Despite the use of the parental alienation concept in court, the research and clinical communities widely acknowledge that parental alienation is an under researched topic. We propose to: 1) Review the scientific and legal literature relevant to parental alienation; 2) Conduct survey research on psychologists' use and understanding of such research, including of research on child's disclosures of abuse and false memory/suggestibility, in the Brazilian and United States family courts, 3) Conduct qualitative analyses of high conflict family law cases to enlighten understanding of the effects of the parental alienation concept on children and families. Publications, conference talks, grant proposals, a research agenda, and international collaboration will result… (AU)

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(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
PRIOLO-FILHO, SIDNEI; GOLDFARB, DEBORAH; SHESTOWSKY, DONNA; SAMPANA, JANELLE; WILLIAMS, LUCIA C. A.; GOODMAN, GAIL S. Judgments regarding parental alienation when parental hostility or child sexual abuse is alleged. JOURNAL OF CHILD CUSTODY, v. 15, n. 4, SI, p. 302-329, 2018. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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