Parental alienation: Intimate partner violence by proxy

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University of New Brunswick


This thesis examines interviews with nine women to explore how women experience and are impacted by parental alienation as a tactic of coercive control. Thematic analysis using NVIVO-14 software was used to identify recuring themes related to the three research questions that guide this study: how mother-child relationships are impacts by parental alienation; what resources mothers use in help-seeking; and do they experience barriers and obstacles to meaningful support in their help-seeking. Through understanding victims’ experiential perceptions of parental alienation, the key purpose of this study was aimed at better understanding how mothers victimized by parental alienation can be better supported in the future by legal professionals. Greater recognition of the pattern of coercive control, in which parental alienation occurs, was found to be needed by intervening professionals, along with further consideration towards preventative measures and more trauma-informed approaches.