eCite Digital Repository

The not-forgotten child: alienated adult children’s experience of parental alienation


Bentley, C and Matthewson, M, The not-forgotten child: alienated adult children's experience of parental alienation, American Journal of Family Therapy pp. 1-21. ISSN 0192-6187 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.1080/01926187.2020.1775531


This study explored the experience of adults who had experienced parental alienation during childhood. Ten alienated adult children participated in 60 to 90-minute semi-structured interviews about their experience of parental alienation. Using Braun and Clarke (2006) thematic analysis framework, seven themes were identified. Participants described experiencing abuse perpetrated by the alienating parent. They described experiencing anxiety, depression, low self-worth, guilt, attachment problems, difficulty in other relationships, and reduced or delayed educational and career attainment that they attributed to their experience of parental alienation. These results demonstrated that children’s exposure to parental alienation may have lifelong ramifications for their psychological well-being.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:parental alienation, alienated adult child/ children, alienated child/ children, targeted parent, alienating parent, child abuse
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Bentley, C (Ms Caitlin Bentley)
UTAS Author:Matthewson, M (Dr Mandy Matthewson)
ID Code:139736
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:5
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2020-06-30
Last Modified:2020-08-11

Repository Staff Only: item control page