The present study aimed at understanding the personality features of mothers and fathers engaged in parental alienation—a family dynamic in which one parent behaves in a way that foments a child’s unfounded emotional rejection of the other parent. The process is considered a complex form of child psychological maltreatment, with significant negative consequences. In cases of conflictual separation and divorce, parental alienation can be difficult—yet important—to identify. In this context, use of psychological assessment to understand parents’ personality characteristics may facilitate the early identification of parental alienation and related abuses. A comparative analysis of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 profiles of 41 couples engaged in parental alienation and 39 control couples (i.e., not involved in parental alienation) was used to assess the personality characteristics of mothers and fathers engaged in parental alienation. The results indicated that mothers who were classified as alienating presented a faking-good defensive profile, denied hostile and negative impulses, blamed others for their problems, and displayed excessive sensitivity. On the other side, fathers who were classified as targets of alienating behaviors were adapted to chronic depressive states, social isolation, and interpersonal conflict. The results suggest that the personality profile of parents involved in parental alienation may provide useful insight for custodial cases, prevent further abuse, and contribute to improving psychological and rehabilitative programs. Clinical and forensic implications are discussed.

A Comparison of MMPI-2 Profiles Between Parental Alienation Cases and Custody Cases

Roma P.
Primo
;
Marchetti D.
Secondo
;
Mazza C.;Ricci E.;Fontanesi L.
;
Verrocchio M. C.
Ultimo
2022-01-01

Abstract

The present study aimed at understanding the personality features of mothers and fathers engaged in parental alienation—a family dynamic in which one parent behaves in a way that foments a child’s unfounded emotional rejection of the other parent. The process is considered a complex form of child psychological maltreatment, with significant negative consequences. In cases of conflictual separation and divorce, parental alienation can be difficult—yet important—to identify. In this context, use of psychological assessment to understand parents’ personality characteristics may facilitate the early identification of parental alienation and related abuses. A comparative analysis of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 profiles of 41 couples engaged in parental alienation and 39 control couples (i.e., not involved in parental alienation) was used to assess the personality characteristics of mothers and fathers engaged in parental alienation. The results indicated that mothers who were classified as alienating presented a faking-good defensive profile, denied hostile and negative impulses, blamed others for their problems, and displayed excessive sensitivity. On the other side, fathers who were classified as targets of alienating behaviors were adapted to chronic depressive states, social isolation, and interpersonal conflict. The results suggest that the personality profile of parents involved in parental alienation may provide useful insight for custodial cases, prevent further abuse, and contribute to improving psychological and rehabilitative programs. Clinical and forensic implications are discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/773769
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