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23-06-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2020

Psychological Adaptation and Beliefs in Targeted Parents: A Study in the Context of Parental Alienation

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2020
Auteurs:
Ana Tavares, Carla Crespo, Maria Teresa Ribeiro
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Abstract

The main aim of the present study was to examine the psychological adaptation and beliefs of parents who identified themselves as experiencing a situation of parental alienation (targeted parents). Firstly, we compared psychological adaptation (depression, satisfaction with life) and belief in an unjust world in targeted parents and parents from the community. Secondly, we examined the associations between individual (depression, belief in an unjust world) and family (child behavior related to parental alienation, other parent’s alienating behavior and triangulation) factors and satisfaction with life in targeted parents. A cross-sectional study was conducted with two sub-samples (N = 106) who completed self-report questionnaires assessing depression symptoms, belief in an unjust world, and satisfaction with life. Targeted parents additionally reported on parental alienation and triangulation measures. Results showed that targeted parents presented higher scores of depression symptoms and of beliefs in an unjust world and lower scores in satisfaction with life, compared to parents in the community. Standard multiple regression analysis showed a significant contribution of depression, belief in an unjust world and child behavior related to parental alienation for the satisfaction with life of targeted parents. The findings provide an important contribution to characterize targeted parents’ psychological adaptation and beliefs, and to identify correlates of poorer satisfaction with life in the adverse context of parental alienation.

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