In this blog I will be introducing you to a term most people are not familiar with namely "parental alienation". Though it's an unpopular term, parental alienation has an immense influence over modern family dynamics. Psychology Today states that:"Parental alienation involves the “programming” of a child by one parent to denigrate the other “targeted” parent, in an effort to undermine and interfere with the child's relationship with that parent, and is often a sign of a parent’s inability to separate from the couple conflict and focus on the needs of the child. Such denigration results in the child’s emotional rejection of the targeted parent, and the loss of a capable and loving parent from the life of the child".
Mothers are more often responsible for alienating the father from the child than fathers are for alienating mothers. This information is admitted in several papers on the subject. The American Journal of Forensic Psychology states:
"mothers were twice as likely as fathers to form PAS type alignments with their children. When false allegations of abuse arise, as in more severe manifestations of PAS, mothers also seem to comprise the majority. Mothers constituted 67 percent of the accusers in the nationwide study which revealed that allegations of abuse in divorce / custody disputes were found to be invalid about 50 percent of the time."(pg 11)
Also on page 11 of the paper we discover what some of the likely motivations for unmarried mothers who alienated her child/ren from the father might have been:
"one of the contributing factors to PAS with some of these couples is the mother's anger and resentment over the father's refusal to marry her, an effect which is exacerbated if the father becomes involved with a new partner"
The fact that fathers are usually the parent that is unfairly alienated by the mother is reiterated on page 27 of the paper:
"Children are about twice as likely to form PAS type alignments with their mothers as they are with their fathers. Similarly, fathers are more likely than mothers to become target parents, especially when Similarly, fathers are more likely than mothers to become target parents, especially when abuse is falsely alleged. These and other gender differences were also discussed in Part I. Some fathers who become target or rejected parents in PAS give up and withdraw, contributing to the significant dropout rate of fathers after divorce."
The paper titled "Patterns of Parental Alienation Syndrome: AQualitative Study of Adults Who were Alienatedfrom a Parent as a Child" also found that mothers were the parents responsible for alienating the children from their fathers in all but 6 out of 40 of the cases. The information in the screenshot is found on page 65.
Another indication that mothers are more often responsible for alienating fathers from their children is revealed in the child support data published in the U.S. Census Bureau's, Current Population Survey when mothers stated the reasons for why they did not receive child support, a higher percentage of the mothers who had custody of their children, said they did not want the father to have contact with the children than the percentage of fathers who had custody said they did not want the children to have contact with the mother. (that information is from page 4 of the document)
This is information that you will seldom hear reported in the news or in your University classes. All of this is usually kept very hush-hush because we are and perhaps always have been steeped in a culture that practically worships mothers and where fathers are viewed with suspicion.