“Domestic violence is about control, not anger. Once a victim says ‘I’m leaving you,’ the last thing the batterer has over the victim is the children,” Katie Foster, regional training coordinator for the family violence division of the Dallas County district attorney’s office. Family violence issue at seminar: Dallas: Parental alienation syndrome leads conference. The Dallas Morning News (10-27-2006).
“When mental health experts or attorneys claim that P.A.S. is a ‘syndrome’– knowing full well that it lacks scientific validity, is the concoction of a disgraced psychologist, and has been soundly rejected by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges — that is disingenuous at best and unethical at worst. Moreover, when it is used as a vehicle to keep children in the custody of men who abuse them, it is also immoral. ” , Randy Burton, Founder, Chairman and President – Justice for Children. http://www.jfcadvocacy.org/pas.asp
“PAS is not research-based, and it has done a great injustice to the family and the justice system. The criteria that Dr. Gardner has developed are virtually useless. He operates on the premise that if you say a lie often enough people will believe it.”, Jon Conte, a psychologist at the University of Washington. “Has Psychiatry Gone Psycho?” by Kelly Patricia O’Meara. Insight on the News (4-26-199)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1571/is_15_15/ai_54451069/pg_1
“The vast majority of these mothers (97%) reported that court personnel ignored or minimized reports of abuse. They reported feeling that they were punished for trying to protect their children and 65% said they were threatened with sanctions if the “talked publicly” about the case. In all, 45% of the mothers say they were labeled as having Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The protective parents reported that the average cost of the court proceedings was over $80,000. Over a quarter of the protective parents say they were forced to file bankruptcy as a result of filing for custody of their children. Eighty-five percent of the protective parents surveyed believe that their children are still being abused; however, 63% say they stopped reporting the abuse for fear that contact with their children will be terminated. Eleven percent of the children were reported to have attempted suicide.” “Myths That Place Children At Risk During Custody Litigation”. Dallam. S. J., & Silberg, J. L. (Jan/Feb 2006). Leadership Council. Sexual Assault Report, 9(3), 33-47. http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/cust_myths.html
“In contrast to the empirically unsupported notion of Parental Alienation Syndrome, these more complex multidimensional models have received preliminary research support. A comprehensive assessment identifying reasons for rejection is critical, because it provides the basis for appropriate intervention. If a parent is being rejected primarily for reasons such as moralistic thinking by the children (e.g., tied to developmental stage), lack of resources (e.g., not as many toys as the other parent’s house), and negative comments by the custodial parent, then therapeutic intervention to rebuild the relationship between the rejected parent and children would be indicated. In contrast, if a careful assessment found that rejection was more closely tied to the non–custodial parent’s history of violence and continued attempts to monitor and harassthe children and primary caregiver, then interventions to create safety for the children and caregiver would be more important that treating the ‘alienation.’”“Making appropriate parenting arrangements in family violence cases: applying the literature to identify promising practices. 2005–FCY–3E.” Research Report, Department of Justice, Canada.http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/pad/reports/2005-FCY-3/chap4.html#4_3
“It is also worth noting that Dr. Gardner often expressed disdain for child abuse professionals, labeling them “validators,” theorizing that greed and desire for increased business prompted some sexual abuse allegations, and speculating that parents and professionals alike made some false allegations because “all of us have some pedophilia within us.” “Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Professionals Need to Know Part 1″. By Erika Rivera Ragland1 & Hope Fields. http://www.ndaa.org/publications/newsletters/update_volume_16_number_6_2003.html#
“PAS does not meet the courts’ threshold requirement to qualify as scientific. Clearly then, the offering of PAS to the courts as an explanatory construct, let alone a basis for making recommendation about the future of children’s lives, does not meet the minimal set of ethical standards incumbent on experts appearing before the court….Because his (Dr. Richard Gardner’s) theories are based on his clinical observations (not on scientific data) they should be understood in the context of his atypical views concerning parent child relations..”“Parental Alienation Syndrome: Frye v Gardner in the Family Courts (Part 2)” By Jerome H. Poliacoff, Ph.D., P.A., Cynthia L. Greene, Esq., and Laura Smith, Esq (Article also includes alternative factors to PAS, caselaw in various states, and in depth research)http://expertpages.com/news/parental_alienation_syndrome2.htm
Dr. Paul Fink, a professor of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine and a past president of the American Psychiatric Association in Arlington, Va quotes on PAS include:“This is junk science”“He (Dr. Gardner) invented a concept and talked as if it were proven science. It’s not.”“There are lots of people who alienate their partners during a divorce, But it is not a syndrome, a disease or a disorder.”“Richard Gardner and Parental Alienation Syndrome: The debate rages on…”. By Jamie Talan, Newsday.com, July 1, 2003. http://www.ipce.info/library_3/files/pasyndrome.htm
“According to David Shaffer, M.D., chair of APA’s DSM-IV Work Group on Disorders Usually First Diagnosed During Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence, PAS has not been proposed as a syndrome or mental disorder to any DSM committee. Shaffer said that a large number of clinicians have observed what Gardner describes as PAS. However, ‘in my opinion, this is a psychological process that occurs within families rather than a diagnostic profile that falls within the province of the DSM.’,” said Shaffer“ “Controversial Syndrome Arises In Child-Custody Battles”. Psychiatric News (9-1-2009). By Christine Lehmann. http://www.psych.org/pnews/00-09-01/controversial.html
“In 1996 a leading task force of the APA published a widely disseminated and relied-upon report: Titled ‘Violence and the Family,’ written by the American Psychological Association Presidential Task Force on Violence and the Family, and published by the American Psychological Association, it is based on a comprehensive review of the literature and research on violence in the family.
The Report states, among other things:
‘When children reject their abusive fathers, it is common for the batterer and others to blame the mother for alienating the children. They often do not understand the legitimate fears of the child. Although there are no data to support the phenomenon called parental alienation syndrome, in which mothers are blamed for interfering with their children’s attachment to their fathers, the term is still used by some evaluators and courts to discount children’s fears in hostile and psychologically abusive situations.” (page 40) “THE TRUTH ABOUT PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME AND THE AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION”. Statement by Professor Joan S. Meier, Esq. (November 9, 2005). Compiled by Trish Wilson, 2005. Trish Wilson offers alot of articles and resources on her site,http://members.aol.com/asherah/meier1.html
“It is interesting that Gardner advocates severing the relationship between a child and a mother who he considers to be emotionally abusive, yet he stresses maintaining and building the relationship whenever possible with fathers who have been found to have sexually abused their child. For example, in reference to sexually abusive fathers, Gardner (1992b, p. 572) states: “There is no such thing as a parent who is perfect .. The sexual exploitation has to be put on the negative list, but positives as well must be appreciated (by the child)..” “The Parental Alienation Syndrome: Is It Scientific?” by Stephanie J. Dallam, RN, MSN, FNP, The Leadership Council. http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/dallam/3.html
“WORLD reviewed histories on 13 PAS cases—in California, Texas, New York, North Carolina, Georgia, Utah, and other states. These cases had something in common: documentation. In all 13 cases, court records show the mother had already been found a fit parent, and was in most cases already the primary custodial parent. In all 13, court-appointed psychologists ignored children’s testimony of sexual abuse, and in some cases, medical findings of abuse, and even previous sex-offender violations. And in all 13 cases, court-appointed mediators concluded that the mothers had inculcated PAS in their children and recommended Dr. Gardner’s standard prescription: to strip custody from the mother and place the child with the father for ‘deprogramming.’” “Little girls lost?: Embraced in family courts across the country, a controversial “syndrome” may be placing abused children at risk” by Lynn Vincent. WORLD Magazine (2-08-2003). http://www.worldmag.com/articles/6825
“PAS has no credibility, validity or utility in the respective medical or child protection communities and in accordance with the Queensland Supreme Court ruling, the use of the label in judicial proceedings could be viewed as prejudicial to those proceedings in the absence of factual evidence and makes a presumption of guilt of the accused residency parent which it is proper for a Court to decide on the basis of factual evidence.It is seriously flawed reasoning which assumes that a child is being untruthful about abuse without a very careful and thorough investigation of the child’s allegations and an examination of the corroborative evidence and that a parent is misrepresenting or falsely presenting the allegations of the child. When children make a report or disclosure that they have been abused, what they say must never be dismissed, ignored, or disregarded by any adult but should be carefully listened to and inquiries made to establish corroborative evidence, much of which can be found in changes in their moods, temperament, and behaviours.”, Charles Pragnell, Expert Witness in Child Protection in the U.K. and Australasia, and a Child/Family Advocate.”Parental Alienation Syndrome Leading.” Child WebMag. http://www.childrenwebmag.com/content/view/280
“Parental alienation happens, but there’s no clinical syndrome you can say in court and get away with. Richard Gardner was a charlatan, and hundreds of women and children across the country have been damaged because of his crazy idea. PAS is not in the DSM-IV and it never will be.”, Paul Jay Fink, professor of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine. When a Bad Divorce Gets Ugly: Baldwin call may reflect alienation, The San Diego Union-Tribune (5-13-2007). By Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje.
“Courageous Kids Can’t Be Fooled-PAS Exposed for What It Is”http://www.courageouskids.net/pas.htm
Dear Citizens Of Illinois, Please read and sign your name and town to the bottom of this petition and forward this to everyone you know who resides in the state of Illinois. I have already sent this petition to Congressman Lipinski when I contacted him regarding the fact that innocent children are being removed from their loving caretakers and placed in the custody of batterers and molesters, where overwhelming evidence has been presented and ignored by judges and court appointed Guardians Ad Litem . Judges and Guardians Ad Litem are denying domestic violence victims (including children) due process, violating standard court procedure and failing miserably at protecting our children. As I write this, my five year old little boy Jason is being abused with the blessing of corrupt Cook County judges. The beauty of it for them is they think that they are above the law. (View petition in full and sign at)
New policies need to be set in our Massachusetts Family & Probate Courts with regards to the use of this unsound theory as a defense in custody cases. I would urge Governor Deval Patrick to research this topic in depth and educate the legal community to make the proper changes necessary to protect our children. As a mother, educator, and active community member, who has experienced the tragedy first hand, I would welcome the opportunity to share my knowledge with the Governor. Say NO to Parental Alienation Awareness Day! The use of this invalid theory is dangerous, unethical, and unconstitutional.
(View petition and sign at:)