site joep zander other publications of Joep Zander Forgotten paternal responsibility and Parental alienation

English abstract

This article discusses how Parental Alienation affects paternal care responsibility. More specifically it highlights how denigration and discrimination of fatherhood is a factor in the arising of Parental Alienation Syndrome and the loss of fatherly care.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a disorder from which children suffer as a result of a campaign of denigration against one of their parents, usually emerging in the context of a parental conflict. Children need unconditional parental responsibility and love to grow up and to gain trust in their social environment.

The occurrence of PAS in the Western world seems to fit in a history of fading parental status and responsibility, which seems to be gradually replaced by a growing status of “the child's interests” as determined by institutions and state. Despite the growing awareness about the importance of recognizing and responding to immediate needs and expressions of children, their needs are apparently being neglected, especially in situations where the children lose contact with one of their parents. Negative attitudes towards fatherhood in media, science and politics affect fatherly care.

It is therefore important to examine PAS not just in a context of patterns between parents in conflict, but also as a result of the denigration of the parental, paternal responsibilities by society.

Joep Zander in Pedagogiek 2011-1 de inleiding van het artikel

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