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The Long-Term Correlates of Childhood Exposure to Parental Alienation on Adult Self-Sufficiency and Well-Being

 The article “The Long-Term Correlates of Childhood Exposure to Parental Alienation on Adult Self-Sufficiency and Well-Being” by Naomi Ben-Ami and Amy J.L.Baker (2012) investigates differences between adult children of the divorced family, who experienced parental alienation and those who did not. The research is based on the survey of 118 individuals, whose well-being was analyzed according to 5 domains: self-sufficiency, alcohol abuse, depression, attachment, and self-esteem. Consequently, it was found out that the attempts of one parent to turn a child against another one caused lower self-sufficiency, lower self-esteem, a lack or low level of secure attachments, and more frequent lifetime depressions. The domain that, according to the provided research, was not influenced by parental post-divorce disputes was alcohol abuse.

The article is contributing to the knowledge about the importance of psychological atmosphere between parents, which influences their children a lot. Involving children into conflicts brings negative consequences for their psychological health and, finally, for their well- being. Though, the research shows that there is no direct correlation between being involved into parental disputes and alcohol abuse. To my mind, it does exist as adult children of divorced parents usually are psychologically unhealthy, be it more or less depending on the level of their involvement into the arguments. Though alcohol abuse is caused by many factors; psychological health of a person is one of them. So, it would be also important to investigate which factors cause alcohol abuse among adults who suffered from parental disputes.

Finally, it is important to show this scientific research results to parents and remind them that it is very important for a child if not to live in a full family than at least to communicate with both parents. All negative emotions that a child gets from the parental divorce and further communication with parents has the impact not only on the child’s attitude towards parents, but on his/her well-being and self-sufficiency during their entire life.