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University of West London reveals findings of research into family breakdown

New research from Ealing’s University of West London (UWL) by its School of Human and Social Sciences (SHSS) into women and men going through family breakdown has revealed that 59.1% have experienced parental alienating behaviours (PABs) and show higher signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and suicidal thoughts.

Parental Alienating Behaviours are actions taken when one parent tries to harm the relationship between their child and the other parent.

The report called ‘Alienating behaviours in separated mothers and fathers in the United Kingdom’ was launched as part of International Parental Alienation Awareness Day which took place on 25 April 2024.

Professor Ben Hine, professor of applied psychology at UWL’s SHSS and who was raised in family where parental alienation took place said: “This first ever national study on parental alienating behaviours involving women and men shows just how prevalent such actions are. The higher signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and suicidal thoughts should be a concern for healthcare professionals, family courts and policymakers.”

The UWL report was funded by grant-making foundation the Sir Halley Stewart Trust and its findings were backed by two charities – Match Mothers and Dads Unlimited.

According to UWL, the results are based on a survey of over 1,000 women and men among the findings were 39.2% felt that their ex-partner had tried to turn their child against them. When Professor Hine used a standard questionnaire detailing more specific behaviours, this rose to 59.1%. When looking at parents who did not engage in the same behaviours in return, the rate was 36.5%.

To view the full report, click here.

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