Ethics approval has now been obtained to commence social science research into ‘the lived experience of parental alienation in a social context’.
Launching the research is imminent so stay tuned for news about participation in online surveys and interviews about targeted parent’s social experiences of parental alienation.
A significant milestone, together with my 9thanniversary of working with targeted/alienated parents in the field of parental alienation, a field in which, as far as I know, I was the only one engaged in Australia at the time-please correct me if I am wrong about this.
Some of you will know that about 2 years ago, I commenced a research doctorate in social science in order to investigate parental alienation as a social phenomenon, not just as a psychopathology or as a ‘family relationship problem’.
So far, my research has discovered how little is known about parental alienation in the social domain. Social science has been largely silent about parental alienation as a social phenomenon that affects each gender more or less frequently. After 2 years of theorising and planning, the marginalisation and de-identification of targeted/alienated parents and the abuse of power in which alienated children are inculcated is becoming clearer.
It is of some concern that I note how the social silence about parental alienation risks normalising parental alienation as the unilateral reconfiguration of a family system into one parent’s own image, by a parent motivated to maladaptively satisfy their social needs.
We need to ask ourselves whether this is what we want for families and children in our society and whether this is the type of society we want to have.
I am now more convinced than ever that social research into the phenomenon of parental alienation is required to end this silence. Social research into parental alienation as a social phenomenon may provide better feedback and advice to our socio-legal institutions about the footprint they leave on families and parents, especially when they decide that leaving the child in the care of their favoured/alienating parent is in their best interests.