Can parental alienation affect your kids as adults?

Griffin Law, PLLC
Mar 26, 2021

Parental alienation affects many children of divorce, and it is to their detriment. However, when dealing with this issue, many parents do not think to consider their child’s future.

Living with parental alienation can create more than just current-day problems. It can affect them for years to come.

Parental alienation as abuse

Psychiatric Times discusses parental alienation and its potential impact. Parental alienation occurs when one parent – the alienating parent – tries to drive a wedge between their co-parent and child. To do so, they often use techniques that some courts describe as psychologically abusive. They may gaslight, manipulate and lie to their child to get their way.

Unfortunately, this can sow the seeds for deep distrust in your child. Many adults who went through parental alienation cite having trust issues in their adult years. They claim to struggle with connections and relationships. They have trouble reaching out to peers and have difficulty making friends or finding significant others.

Mental effects of parental alienation

On top of that, many struggle with an elevated risk for depression, anxiety, and stressor or trauma related disorders like PTSD. Children who went through parental alienation also tend to have poor coping mechanisms. This can lead to issues later in life with addiction. Many of these children struggle with drug or alcohol abuse.

It is impossible to tell in the moment how parental alienation will affect someone later in life. But the empirical data shows that there is an effect in most cases. Thus, it is even more crucial to take actions to stop parental alienation when you see potential signs of it occurring.

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