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Parental alianation syndrome

NOMINATED TOPIC | April 18, 2013
Briefly describe a specific question, or set of related questions, about a health care test or treatment that this program should consider.

Parental alianation syndrome

Does your question include a comparison of different health care approaches? (If no, your topic will still be considered.)


If yes, explain the specific technologies, devices, drugs, or interventions you would like to see compared:

School counselor reporting, EMDR, cognitive therapy

What patients or group(s) of patients does your question apply to? (Please include specific details such as age range, gender, coexisting diagnoses, and indications for therapy.)

Children Parents teenagers

Are there subgroups of patients that your question might apply to? (For example, an ethnic group, stage or severity of a disease.)

Varied ages, degrees of abuse, long time exposure

Describe the health-related benefits you are interested in. (For example, improvements in patient symptoms or problems from treatment or diagnosis.)

Recognition and improved diagnosis and treatment, intervention and prevention

Describe any health-related risks, side effects, or harms that you are concerned about.

PTSD trauma suicidal ideation anxiety fear anger aggression

Appropriateness for EHC Program

Does your question include a health care drug, intervention, device, or technology available (or likely to be available) in the U.S.?


Which priority area(s) and population(s) does this topic apply to? (check all that apply)
EHC Priority Conditions (updated in 2008)
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Developmental delays, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and autism
  • Substance abuse
AHRQ Priority Populations
  • Low income groups
  • Women
  • Children
Federal Health Care Program


Describe why this topic is important.

It is not widely recognized as severe emotional abuse with long term effects

What specifically motivated you to ask this question? (For example, you are developing a clinical guideline, working with a policy with large uncertainty about the appropriate approach, costly intervention, new research you have read, items in the media you may have seen, a clinical practice dilemma you know of, etc.)

I am a mother on disability income resulting from a suicide attempt directly related to alienation from my son and emotional abuse tactics. The alienator (s) are a high income father and stepmother.

My son is 13 . he has been dealing with this for over five years. Completely cut off from myself, maternal grandparents and family.

As well as paternal grandparents and family for the past 10 months.

He has been forced to say hateful things and cries and apologizes privately to me. Now he is just angry.

On the few occasions I was able to reach him he has been hostile and truley forgotten now believes what is said of me.

He expresses last June that in his opinion it was my fault for not being able to fight to sustain physical custody.

Although I have legal custody and almost 50/50 visitation, I am threatened constantly.

His father is well connected in a small town and my son is quietly suffering.

I would like to know the long term effects and if intervention at this age makes a difference. I just want mental health for my son. Appropriate help.

Does your question represent uncertainty for clinicians and/or policy-makers? (For example, variations in clinical care, controversy in what constitutes appropriate clinical care, or a policy decision.)


If yes, please explain:

This syndrome is not recognized by many clinicians, politicians , family courts, DCFS

Potential Impact

How will an answer to your research question be used or help inform decisions for you or your group?

How to approach this issue in a medical setting.

Describe the timeframe in which an answer to your question is needed.

It is crucial to be addressed immediately. For children parents and the future social impact it represents

Describe any health disparities, inequities, or impact on vulnerable populations your question applies to.

Financial, Lack of position of power, well connected closet abusers who use the child only as a weapon to hurt the other parent vs a loving parent.

Nominator Information

Other Information About You: (optional)
Please choose a description that best describes your role or perspective: (you may select more than one category if appropriate)

How to approach this issue in a medical setting.

Are you making a suggestion as an individual or on behalf of an organization?


Please tell us how you heard about the Effective Health Care Program


Page last reviewed November 2017
Page originally created April 2013

Internet Citation: Parental alianation syndrome. Content last reviewed November 2017. Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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