Parental Alienation Syndrome is NOT recognized as a valid medical syndrome

September 25, 2008 § Leave a comment

http://www.argate.net/~liz/fathers/pas.htm

“Please note that Parental Alienation Syndrome is NOT recognized as a valid medical syndrome by either the AMA or the APA.  Gardner’s work has never been up for peer review. He’s able to get around this by publishing his own works.  Creative Therapeutics, the publisher of his books, including Parental Alienation Syndrome, is his own publishing company. PAS is based strictly on his own observation.”
What is “Parental Alienation Syndrome” and Why Is It So Often Used Against Mothers?

http://www.gate.net/~liz/liz/pedoph.htm


RICHARD A. GARDNER:

IN HIS OWN WORDS

(PAS founder)

“At the present time, the sexually abused child is generally considered to be the victim,” though the child may initiate sexual encounters by ‘seducing’ the adult.”

Gardner, Richard A., Child Custody Litigation (1986), p.93

Sexualizing children can have procreative purposes, because a sexualized child is more likely to reproduce at an earlier age. “The younger the survival machine at the time sexual urges appear, the longer will be the span of procreative capacity, and the greater the likelihood the individual will create more survival machines in the next generation.”

Gardner, Richard A., True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse (1992), pp.24-25


Update – Volume 16, Number 6, 2003 Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Professionals Need to Know Part 1 of 2 By Erika Rivera Ragland1 & Hope Fields2 “The late Dr. Richard Gardner, a clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, coined Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in 1985, after noticing a “disorder” among patients within his private practice.” “”The theory of PAS is based in part on the notion that, within custody disputes, there is a high incidence of false abuse allegations….To the contrary, the available research suggests that false allegation rates are not significantly high. For example, a 1990 study by Thoennes and Tjaden (Thoennes & Tjaden, The Extent, Nature and Validity of Sexual Abuse Allegation in Custody/Visitation Disputes, Child Abuse and Neglect 1990, 14:151-163) evaluated 9,000 divorces in 12 states and found that sexual abuse allegations were made in less than 2 percent of the contested divorces involving child custody. Within this group, it appears false allegations occurred in approximately 5% to 8% of cases. This study is one of the most comprehensive and least subject to bias and sampling problems, since its sample is so large and representative of the population of those divorcing with custody and visitation disputes.” “”At best, PAS is a nondiagnostic “syndrome” that only explains the behavior of the child and the mother when there is a known false allegation.20 It is a courtroom diagnosis befitting adversaries involved in legal sparring. It is not capable of lending itself to hard data or inclusion in the forthcoming DSM-V.  In short, PAS is an untested theory that, unchallenged, can have far-reaching consequences for children seeking protection and legal vindication in courts of law.” http://www.ndaa.org/publications/newsletters/update_volume_16_number_6_2003.html

Update – Volume 16, Number 7, 2003 Parental Alienation Syndrome: What Professionals Need to Know Part 2 of 2 By Hope Fields & Erika Rivera Ragland “PAS is an unproven theory that can threaten the integrity of the criminal justice system and the safety of abused children. Prosecutors should educate themselves about PAS and be prepared to argue against its admission in court. In cases where PAS testimony is admitted, it is a prosecutor’’s responsibility to educate the judge and jury about the shortfalls of this theory. As more criminal courts refuse to admit PAS evidence, more protection will be afforded to victims of sexual abuse in our court system.” http://www.ndaa.org/publications/newsletters/update_volume_16_number_7_2003.html

Dr. Richard Gardner: A Review of His Theories and Opinions on Atypical Sexuality, Pedophilia, and Treatment Issues  by Stephanie J. Dallam, RN, MSN, FNP Please note: I do not agree with Gardner’s ideas. “Richard A. Gardner, M.D., is a prominent forensic expert with an extensive career of evaluating children, especially during custody disputes between parents.” “Gardner (1992, p. 588) does not believe in doing therapy with fathers who deny committing sexual molestation. If father desires treatment, the therapist should focus on enhancing his self-esteem. This is accomplished by helping him to appreciate that “there is a certain amount of pedophilia in all of us” and that “pedophilia has been considered the norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world”(Gardner 1992, ppi.592-3).” “Gardner’s Views on Pedophilia – “The sexually abused child is generally considered to be the victim,” though the child may initiate sexual encounters by ‘seducing’ the adult.” “Gardner (1991, p. 118) suggests that Western society’s is “excessively moralistic and punitive” toward pedophiles.” published in Jan/Feb 1998 issue of Treating Abuse Today; the second part was published in the Mar/Apr 1998 issue (Volume 8, issue 2). Back issues can be obtained from Treating Abuse Today


The Evidence for Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Examination of Gardner’s Theories and Opinions by Stephanie J. Dallam, RN, MSN, FNP, Paralegal “It should be noted that Gardner’s views on pedophilia are at odds with the scientific research on child sexual abuse which has consistently and conclusively shown the negative long-term effect of sexual abuse on children.” Printed in Treating Abuse Today, 8(2), Mar/Apr 1998, pp 25-34 by Survivors And Victims Empowered (SAVE)


Claims of Parental Alienation Syndrome Confuse Abuse Investigations – http://incestabuse.about.com/health/incestabuse/library/weekly/aa082000.htm

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 29:1367-1415 (1994) – the Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Dangerous Aura of Reliability – C. Wood, “Dr. Gardner espouses these theories in his self-published books, the most recent being The Parental Alienation Syndrome. Ironically, while PAS has been admitted in courts, it has not been accepted by experts in the field: psychologists, child abuse evidentiary experts, or child advocates. This Comment argues that evidence of PAS should not be admissible in court.” http://fact.on.ca/Info/pas/wood94.htm

The Truth About Parental Alienation http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?folder=63&page=442 Proponents of Parental Alienation portray parental alienation as a destructive family dynamic, usually manifesting during custody battles, in which one parent purportedly turns the child’s sentiments against the other parent. Failure to recognize and correct this dynamic by ensuring that the child has a relationship with both parents, they claim, will cause great harm to the child. Indeed, nothing can be further from the truth. Parental Alienation is a discredited, pseudo-psychological theory whose application in custody determinations has caused great harm to children. (more)

Legal Community Rejects Parental Alienation Syndrome http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?folder=63&page=334 The Leadership Council On Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence, 07/12/ Two recent high profile legal publications have rejected “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS), a controversial label often used to discredit allegations of child abuse or domestic violence in family courts. According to PAS theory, children’s disclosures of abuse by one parent are reinterpreted as evidence of “brainwashing” by the other parent. The solution proposed by PAS theory is to immediately award custody to the alleged child abuser. (more)

The Evidentiary Admissibility of Parental Alienation http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?folder=63&page=382 American Bar Association’s Children’s Legal Rights Journal, 04/01/ Since 1985, in jurisdictions all over the United States, fathers have been awarded sole custody of their children based on claims that mothers alienated these children due to a pathological medical syndrome called Parental Alienation Syndrome (“PAS”). Given that some such cases have involved stark outcomes, including murder and suicide, PAS’ admissibility in U.S. courts deserves scrutiny. This article presents the first comprehensive analysis of the science, law, and policy issues involved in PAS’ evidentiary admissibility. The author analyzes every precedent-bearing decision and law review article referencing PAS in the past twenty years, finding that precedent holds PAS inadmissible and the majority of legal scholarship views it negatively. (more)

Quotes By Richard Gardner http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?folder=63&page=373 Richard A. Gardner, M.D., is the creator of the creator and main proponent for Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) theory. Prior to his suicide, Gardner was an unpaid part-time clinical professor of child psychiatry at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University . He made his money mainly as a forensic expert. PAS was developed by Dr Richard Gardner in 1985 based on his personal observation, not on scientific study, and on his work as an expert witness, often on behalf of fathers accused of molesting their children. Gardner ‘s theory of PAS has had a profound effect on how the court systems in our country handle allegations of child sexual abuse, especially during divorce. Because Gardner ‘s PAS theory is based on his clinical observations–not scientific data–it must be understood in the context of his extreme views concerning women, pedophilia and child sexual abuse. (more)

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges Rejects PAS http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?folder=63&page=335
The theory positing the existence of “PAS” has been discredited by the scientific community and hence fails to meet Daubert and Frye standards and should be ruled inadmissible. Quite apart from its scientific invalidity, PAS inappropriately asks the court to assume that the children’s behaviors and attitudes toward the parent who claims to be “alienated” have no grounding in reality. It also diverts attention away from the behaviors of the abusive parent, who may have directly influenced the children’s responses by acting in violent, disrespectful, intimidating, humiliating and/or discrediting ways toward the children themselves, or the children’s other parent. (more)

Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation: Getting It Wrong In Child Custody Disputes
Family Law Quarterly , 03/15/ http://www.stopfamilyviolence.org/ocean/host.php?folder=63&page=397
As American courts and legislatures continue their enthusiastic ventures into family law reform, they make frequent use of theories and research from the social sciences. This essay focuses on developments in child custody law stemming from Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a theory propounded in 1985 that became widely used despite its lack of scientific foundations. The discussion highlights theoretical and practical problems with PAS, provides a similar discussion of more recent proposals labeled Parental Alienation (PA), and concludes with recommendations for lawyers and judges who must evaluate these and similar developments. (more)

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