Challenging Parental Alienation: New Directions for Professionals and Parents (Paperback)

Challenging Parental Alienation: New Directions for Professionals and Parents By Jean Mercer (Editor), Margaret Drew (Editor) Cover Image

Challenging Parental Alienation: New Directions for Professionals and Parents (Paperback)

By Jean Mercer (Editor), Margaret Drew (Editor)


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This book addresses the concept of parental alienation - the belief that when a child of divorced parents avoids one parent, it may be because the preferred parent has persuaded the child to do this. It argues against the unquestioning use of parental alienation concepts in child custody conflicts.

Increasing use of this concept in family courts has led at times to placement of children with abusive or violent parents, damage to the lives of preferred parents, and the use of treatments that have not been shown to be safe or effective. The 13 chapters cover the history and theory of "parental alienation" principles and practices. Methodological and research issues are considered, and diagnostic and treatment methods associated with "parental alienation" beliefs as well as those recommended by research and ethical evidence are analyzed. The connections of "parental alienation" with gender and domestic violence issues are discussed as are the experiences of individuals who have experienced "parental alienation" treatments. The book argues that "parental alienation" principles and practices should be avoided by family courts, in the best interests of children in custody disputes.

This book will be useful reading for lawyers, judges, children's services workers including social workers, child protection court workers, and mental health professionals involved in child custody decisions.

Jean Mercer is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stockton University in New Jersey, USA. She is a developmental psychologist with concerns about potentially harmful therapies that are used for children, including "holding therapy" and other coercive methods. She has published a number of articles critiquing theory and research on parental alienation allegations in child custody cases. Margaret Drew is an Associate Professor of Law who teaches at the University of Massachusetts School of Law, USA, and has represented domestic abuse survivors in trial and appellate courts. Professor Drew's scholarship has focused primarily on intimate partner abuse and its impact on vulnerable populations. Some areas of interest are lawyer malpractice in domestic violence cases, the vulnerability of people living with HIV, the use of Collaborative Law in domestic violence cases, and bringing a human rights framework to legal remedies for survivors of abuse.
Product Details ISBN: 9780367559762
ISBN-10: 0367559765
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2021
Pages: 270
Language: English