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Overview of Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental Alienation Syndrome

1. Gardner posited which of the following about PAS?

A. PAS is a syndrome whereby vengeful mothers employ child abuse allegations as a powerful weapon to punish ex-husbands and ensure custody to themselves.

B. Mothers enlist the children in their "campaign of denigration" and "vilification" of the father, and that they often "brainwash" or "program" the children into believing untrue claims of abuse by the father, and that the children then fabricate and contribute their own stories.

C. The majority of child sexual abuse claims in custody litigation are false.

D. Gardner posited all of the above.

2. PAS theory is premised on the assumption that child abuse claimants’ believability and trustworthiness is highly suspect.

A. True

B. False

3. Gardner argued expressly that adult-child sex need not be intrinsically harmful to children, and that it is beneficial to the species, insofar as it increases a child’s sexualization and increases the likelihood that his or her genes will be transmitted at an early age.

A. True

B. False

4. Leading researchers have found that the dominant problem in child sexual abuse evaluations is false allegations.

A. True

B. False

5. No family court accepts PAS contained in an opinion offered by an evaluator or Guardian Ad Litem without questioning its scientific validity or admissibility.

A. True

B. False

Parental Alienation

6. Debate continues to rage in research and advocacy circles over the extent to which parental alienation:

A. Is something that can be measured.

B. Is caused by a parent.

C. Is simply a new less objectionable name for the invalidated PAS.

D. All of the above.

7. The empirical evidence by Johnston indicates that:

A. Actual “alienation” of a child is quite rare despite many parents’ derogatory conduct or statements about the other parent.

B. When children are estranged from a parent there are always multiple reasons, some of which are the parent’s own conduct.

C. Both (A) and (B).

D. None of the above.

8. In short, parental alienation as a theory has been built by:

A. Scientific and empirical research

B. Repeated assertions

C. Both (A) and (B)

D. None of the above

9. In some jurisdictions, the same custody evaluators propounding PAS and PA are working with the child welfare agency.

A. True

B. False

10. In a highly regarded instruction manual, which of the following was listed as a helpful factor in identifying false allegations?

A. Ongoing custody / visitation litigation

B. The accused’s denial of the abuse

C. Both (A) and (B)

D. None of the above

11. Many custody evaluators do not:

A. Understand the risks to adults and children after separation from the abuser.

B. Use an objective screening instrument.

C. Apply knowledge from the domestic violence field about assessing dangerousness.

D. All of the above.

Strategy Issues for Litigants in Specific Cases

12. The ideal strategy for combating PAS/PA claims leveled against an abuse survivor is the production of an expert to testify that PAS is not valid “science.”

A. True

B. False

An Abuse-Sensitive Approach to Adjudicating Parental Alienation Allegations

13. Evaluators of abuse should be required to have genuine expertise in all of the following, except for:


B. Child abuse

C. Domestic violence

D. Expertise in all of the above should be required

14. Real “expertise” require which of the following?

A. One or two continuing education seminars.

B. In-depth training in abuse.

C. Working with abused children and/or adults.

D. (B) and/or (C).

15. Once abuse is found, an abuser’s alienation claims against the victim should not be considered.

A. True

B. False

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