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Targeted parents’ perspective on the development of Parental Alienation: A grounded theory study

Kaloudi, Angeliki (2022) Targeted parents’ perspective on the development of Parental Alienation: A grounded theory study. Other thesis, University of Essex.

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Parental alienation (PA) is a child’s unjustified rejection of a previously loved parent in the context of high-conflict divorce and child custody disputes. PA remains a significant problem for clinicians and judiciaries in the UK, due to definitional controversies and limited available research. Research on PA from the perspective of targeted parents has just started providing some insight on people’s experiences but has not adequately explored the psychological underpinnings of PA. The concept still stands outside developmental theory, thus impeding the provision of appropriate guidelines and interventions to support families that experience PA. PA can have devastating effects on both children and targeted parents and it is, therefore, important to shed more light on its mechanisms. The current study intended to fill this gap and explored the process of development of PA from the perspective of targeted parents. Nine parents, who self-identified as targeted parents participated in the study. Parents were recruited mainly from organisations and community groups, known to provide advocacy and support to targeted parents. One-off interviews were conducted with participants. Some of them were contacted again at a later point to provide additional written data. Constructive Grounded Theory was utilised for the data collection and analysis. The analysis was conducted following an iterative process of constant comparison, which led to the construction of a theoretical model, grounded in the data. The model integrates multiple interconnected intrapersonal, relational, intergenerational, and systemic factors that contribute to the development and perpetuation of PA. Findings are considered in relation to existing literature and implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed. It is hoped that the theoretical model suggested can contribute to prompt identification and assessment of families that are experiencing or are at risk of developing PA, as well as inform the clinical and socio-legal management of PA.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Health and Social Care, School of
Depositing User: Angeliki Kaloudi
Date Deposited: 23 May 2022 13:17
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2022 10:45

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