How, Exactly, Does Alienation Impact a Child’s Development?

What are the long and short-term effects of parental alienation on the children themselves?

Obviously, every child is different, and every alienation situation is likewise unique. The severity of the alienation, its duration, the child’s level of attachment (or lack thereof) to both parents, the child’s relationships with siblings and peers, the child’s overall health and diet, and the child’s genetically-influenced personality can all influence what happens during and after an alienation attempt.

The Challenges of Doing Good Social Science

Researchers have studied PA for over three decades, but we still have surprisingly little data about the long term consequences of this process for the children caught up in it. Part of the problem is the sheer scope and scale of the scientific challenge.

Teasing out cause and effect in scientific experiments involving long term human behavior and personality is both very difficult and very expensive. To test a scientific hypothesis, ideally, you want to run at least two parallel experiments that you can easily compare.

For instance, you might give people who suffer from chronic headaches two treatments. One group gets no drug. Another group of very similar headache sufferers gets a daily headache medicine. You might then evaluate both groups before the experiment and three months after the intervention. If you discover that those individuals who took the drug experienced fewer headaches, you might be onto something.

However, science requires even stricter proof. Perhaps the very act of taking the drug led to the positive result. (Technically, this is known as the “placebo” effect.) Or perhaps the experimenters who gave out the medicines subconsciously influenced the participants and thus biased the results.

The “gold standard” in science thus relies on what are called “placebo-controlled, double-blind” experiments, because only these experiments can filter out placebo-like effects and experimenter biases.

Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, we can’t run placebo-controlled, double-blind experiments on children who have been subject to Parental Alienation. Such experiments would be monstrously expensive and incredibly complex and long, not to mention unethical.

For skillful, experienced assistance handling your Parental Alienation case, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.

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