In recent years, more studies have come out focusing on adults who have suffered from parental alienation in their childhood. This supplements and adds to the plentiful data already available on how parental alienation can affect young children in a divorce situation.
But how does parental alienation affect these children as they grow? Does it still have an impact on their adult lives years after the initial divorce situation?
Abuse tactics of alienating parents
The Psychiatric Times points out that many courts actually consider parental alienation as a form of child psychological abuse, as alienating parents often use tactics other abusive parents put into play. This often includes manipulation, coercion, covert threats, gaslighting and more as an alienating parent makes a bid to “win” their child over and sever their ties from the alienated parent.
As with any form of abuse, this can leave lasting scars and an impact that lasts for years after the initial incident. To start, many victims of parental alienation claim to struggle with trust issues. They have trouble making and maintaining connections with their peers and often cannot cultivate either romantic or platonic relationships in a healthy, stable way.
The long-term impact of parental alienation
They tend to suffer from struggles with self-destructive behaviors, poor coping mechanisms and addictions of various sorts. On top of that, studies have revealed that they also suffer from a higher rate of depression, anxiety, trauma and stressor-based disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder.
As more studies roll out on the subject matter, it increases the knowledge that we have on the struggles these adults face and paves the way to provide children with more tools so they can avoid these same troubles.