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Parental alienation syndrome: from the North-American theory to the Brazilian new law

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) was set in the 1980s by the American psychiatrist Richard Gardner as a childhood disorder that affects children and adolescents involved in situations of custody dispute between parents. In his opinion, the syndrome develops from “programming” or “brainwashing” held by a parent - named as alienating - so that the child rejects the other parent. In Brazil, after rapid processing in the Legislative, in August 2010 was enacted the Law on Parental Alienation, which provides sanctions against the parent who causes hindrances to the coexistence of child(ren) with the other parent. The new law determines the role of psychologists in the examination of alleged cases of parental alienation, also highlighting the emotional aspects observed in such situations. In this article, we proposed to examine - according to the knowledge of psychology - the arguments involved in this area that support explanatory memorandum of the Bill on Parental Alienation, explaining also the judgments obtained in different countries which were based on the concept of parental alienation.

Parental alienation syndrome; Child custody; Divorce; Parent-child relations

Conselho Federal de Psicologia SAF/SUL, Quadra 2, Bloco B, Edifício Via Office, térreo sala 105, 70070-600 Brasília - DF - Brasil, Tel.: (55 61) 2109-0100 - Brasília - DF - Brazil