“Until the proper scientific research is completed, PAS will remain a clinical entity that appears to represent a bona fide psychiatric disorder that cannot be confirmed or disconfirmed by the present state of the scientific literature. With such a status, PAS will continue to invite considerable debate in the family law arena and leave families needing proper intervention to tangle with the biases of various mental health practitioners.” (p. 176)
Turkat, I.D. (2002) Parental Alienation Syndrome: A review of critical issues. Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 18, 131-176.
When a parent unjustly teaches his or her offspring to hate the other parent, that is clearly harmful, abnormal behavior. Whether you call it Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) or something else, that behavior is disturbed and deleterious.
Unfortunately, like child custody evaluations, there is an absence of a comprehensive body of pertinent research to help guide the court, and this promotes debate that can’t be resolved until the right scientific evidence accumulates.
In the meantime: children suffer, targeted parents hurt. For some, the pain of alienation is experienced for decades.