Parental Alienation Syndrome is defined as a syndrome where one parent ( usually the custodial parent) alienates the child or children from the other parent. A child psychiatrist organized this syndrome by the name of Richard Gardner. The fact that Parental Alienations Syndrome is used in custody litigations makes it a very controversial issue. The syndrome tends to target one parent and favor the other, sometimes leaving the child in compromising situations. Also, Gardner's syndrome lacks scientific background and is seen as nothing more than a theory by many other professionals. Parental Alienation Syndrome should not be considered in court custody battles, as it is nothing more than an inadequate theory.
Parental Alienation Syndrome has begun to show up in courtrooms across the nation more in custody battles. Interest in Parental Alienation Syndrome has grown considerably since its introduction by Gardner in the 1980's (Utesch 1). PAS can often blind the court officials and a child can mistakenly be put into an unsafe living situation. Many courts are uneducated of the fact that Parental Alienation Syndrome is not actually a syndrome but just a theory. The judges and the jury, many times, do not know more about PAS than the name, Parental Alienation Syndrome. So, when PAS is brought up in a court case, the judges and/or jury see it as a liable source and carry out the allegations made. PAS often helps to mask child abuse allegations in court cases. As soon as a child brings any allegations to court, Gardner immediately turns to PAS and blames the other parent for brainwashing their children into making allegation against the father.
Pas has several effects on a child's psychological state of mind of a child. Being deprived of two healthy parents is definitely psychologically harmful to a child. Studies show that in approximately 70 percent of challenged cases, battering parents have been able to convince authorities during custody battles that their victim is unfit or undeserving of sole custody (Waller 1).