Dr. Sullivan along with co-authors Drs. Janet Johnston and Marsha Pruett have written an article for a special issue on Family Violence in the Family Court Review, just published, titled
Parent Child Contact Problems: Family Violence and Parental Alienating Behaviors
Either/or, Neither/nor, both/and, one in the same?
The abstract describes the content of the article:
This article argues that in order to intervene effectively and ethically with children who are manifesting Parent-child contact problems (PCCPs) after parental separation, we begin by being mindful of what is normal about divorce transitions and use developmentally appropriate and culturally sensitive analysis to rule out children’s common transitory reactions. It is then important to concurrently assess for both Family Violence (FV) and severe parental alienating behavior (PAB) on the part of both parents, which can co-occur in some cases. The article asserts that it is also important to consider common problematic parenting responses that may potentiate the PCCP but not necessarily rise to the level of abuse. FV is defined as a child’s direct experience of physical, sexual, or psychological maltreatment and indirect exposure to sibling abuse and/or to intimate partner violence (IPV). PAB is defined as an ongoing pattern of unwarranted negative messages on the part of one parent that conveys that the child’s other parent is disinterested, irrelevant, dangerous, and not to be trusted. Any one or all of these factors may be contributing to a child’s strident negativity and sustained rejection of one parent, these being defining features of a PCCP. The article proposes some ethical principles and priorities for decision-making in these cases, considering the growing social science controversy about assessment and intervention for PCCPs. It concludes with an analysis of recent, contrasting policy approaches to PCCPs (e.g., Kayden’s Law and the Joint Statement of the AFCC and NCJFCJ) and their potential impact on family justice system professionals and the families they serve.
Here is the reference to access the article (BTW, AFCC members have access to ALL Family Court Review articles):
Sullivan, M., Pruett, M. & Johnston, J. (2024) Parent-child contact problems: Family violence and parental alienating behaviors either/or, neither/nor, both/and, one and the same? Family Court Review Vol. 62. No 1 January, 2024 DOI: 10.1111/fcre.12764