Glenn F. Cartwright, Ph.D.: Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) describes a new form of psychiatric disorder, rarely seen, culminating in the emotional abuse of children. It combined the programming (“brainwashing”) of a child or children by one parent in an attempt to denigrate the other (usually non-custodial) parent with the self-created contributions made by the child to support the alienating parent.
The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against the parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.
When true parental abuse and/or neglect is present the child’s animosity may be justified, and so the parental alienation syndrome diagnosis is not applicable.