Chapter

Prognosis and Long-Term Consequences of Untreated Alienation on Young Adults and Their Families

Barbara Jo Fidler, Nicholas Bala and Michael A. Saini

in Children Who Resist PostSeparation Parental Contact

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199895496
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980086 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895496.003.0005

Series: American Psychology-Law Society

Prognosis and Long-Term Consequences of Untreated Alienation on Young Adults and Their Families

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This chapter reviews research on the impact of alienation on children and adults who were alienated as children, spontaneous reconciliation, and the sustainability of the contact and relationship. Although there is little, if any, well-controlled and empirically based evidence about the effects of alienation, clinical observations, cases reviews, and qualitative studies have demonstrated with few exceptions that alienated children are at risk for short-term emotional distress and long-term adjustment difficulties. The existing data on spontaneous reconciliation and the sustainability of the contact and relationship are preliminary and mixed. There is a real need for empirical, longitudinal data on the long-term consequences of alienation. What is clear is that these cases are often extremely complex, and the intervention or lack of it must be determined on a case-by-case basis. However, if a relationship is discontinued during childhood, there may be the hope, but not the certainty, that it may later be reestablished.

Keywords: children; adults; spontaneous reconciliation; emotional distress; adjustment difficulties

Chapter.  2511 words. 

Subjects: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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