eCite Digital Repository

The forgotten parent: The targeted parent perspective of parental alienation


Poustie, C and Matthewson, M and Balmer, S, The forgotten parent: The targeted parent perspective of parental alienation, Journal of Family Issues, 39, (12) pp. 3298-3323. ISSN 0192-513X (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/0192513X18777867


This study investigated the targeted parent experience of parental alienation and alienating behaviors. One hundred and twenty-six targeted parents provided narratives in response to an open-ended question at the end of an online survey. Braun and Clarke's (2006) thematic analysis framework was used to identify themes in the data. Six themes were identified illustrating targeted parents' experience of parental alienation and alienating behaviors. Targeted parents described physical and emotional distance separating them from their child, emotional and financial costs associated with their engagement with "systems" such as legal systems and child protection systems. They described poor mental health and concern for their child's psychological well-being. Targeted parents considered alienating behaviors to be a form of family violence. Additionally, targeted parents used active coping behaviors. It was concluded that further research is needed to better understand parental alienation. Mental health and legal professionals must collaborate to optimize support for targeted parents.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:parental alienation, targeted parent, alienated parent, family violence, alienated family
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Poustie, C (Ms Clare Poustie)
UTAS Author:Matthewson, M (Dr Mandy Matthewson)
UTAS Author:Balmer, S (Ms Sian Balmer)
ID Code:132731
Year Published:2018
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2019-05-17
Last Modified:2019-06-20

Repository Staff Only: item control page