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Children Who Resist Postseparation Parental ContactA Differential Approach for Legal and Mental Health Professionals$
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Barbara Jo Fidler, Nicholas Bala, and Michael A. Saini

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199895496

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895496.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.99) 5 Prognosis and Long-Term Consequences of Untreated Alienation on Young Adults and Their Families
Source:
Children Who Resist Postseparation Parental Contact
Author(s):

Barbara Jo Fidler

Nicholas Bala

Michael A. Saini

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199895496.003.0005

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

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