Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The noncustodial parents description of the experience of Parental Alienation Syndrome: A phenomenological study
by Avitia, Maricruz, Ph.D., Capella University, 2011, 188; 3466503
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study used Moustakas' (1994) transcendental phenomenological research method to explore the rich data provided by the personally lived experience of noncustodial parents to understand the effects of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in an understudied population. While the cognitive and emotional responses associated with this syndrome may lead alienated parents to suffer intense, ongoing personal problems, the literature on their experiences is minimal; most literature involving the emotional aftereffects of Parental Alienation Syndrome focuses instead on the negative consequences for adult children (Baker, 2006). For this study, nine noncustodial parents from different ethnic backgrounds were selected for fulfilling the three specific inclusion criteria identified by Baker and Darnell (2007) and Washak, (2001): (a) experiencing persistent rejection or denigration from the child or children, (b) perceiving that the rejection was not justified (i.e., not due to neglect or abuse), and (c) their rejection and denigration was due in part to the custodial parent's influence and not just the child's or children's own contribution. The data were gathered through face-to-face interviews, 60 minutes in length, using a semi-structured approach with in-depth open-ended areas for comments and questions. The textural and structural themes demonstrated that Parental Alienation Syndrome is a real phenomenon that seriously affects the noncustodial parents and their relationship with their children and others. In addition, the findings revealed that the noncustodial parents experience multiple distresses and a deep sense of despair that may lead to other psychological problems.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schneider, Steven
Commitee: Collins, Brian, Pimpinelli, Angelo
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 72/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology
Keywords: Description of experience, Noncustodial parents, Parental alienation syndrome, Phenomenological study
Publication Number: 3466503
ISBN: 978-1-124-79875-2
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