Typical Behaviors of an Alienated Child
November 27, 2016
Revises history to eliminate or diminish any positive memories of experiences with the rejected parent.
Has reactions and perceptions not justified by or disproportionate to the rejected parent’s behavior.
Has a stronger, but not necessarily healthy, psychological bond with the alienating parent than with the rejected parent.
Tells stories about one or both parents or the situation that are repetitive and lacking in detail and depth.
Denies hope for reconciliation.
Displays independent thinker phenomenon; he or she will claim beliefs about a rejected parent are his or her own and not the alienating parent.
Shows signs of role corruption, role reversal, or triangulation.
May struggle with internalizing problems such as anxiety, depression, phobic reactions, or low self-esteem.
May manifest signs of externalizing behavioral problems including, but not limited to bullying, sexual behavioral problems, or oppositional behavioral struggles.
Expresses worry for the preferred parent and vocalizes a need to care for that parent.
May appear to function adequately in some environments ( e.g. earning As in school) while struggling in other environments (struggles to maintain friendships).May bad-mouth rejected parent’s new family.
Demonstrates inconsistency between statements or allegations about rejected parent and behavior with the rejected parent.
Posted by Monika Logan, M.A., LPC, LSOTP
Texas Premier Counseling Services, PLLC
Evidenced Informed Information. Adapted from Gardner 1985; Kelly & Johnston 2001; Warshak 2001; Baker 2005; Cartwright 2006 and Garber 2007.