Articles in the Scientific Literature on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

There are some who claim that "the PAS does not exist" because it is not listed in DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Vol. IV, of the American Psychiatric Association). DSM-IV does not consider for inclusion disorders that do not have a backlog of publications. Accordingly, newly described disorders generally have a time-lag before consideration. Between 1987 (the time of publication of DSM-lll- R) and 1994 (the time of publication of DSM-IV) there were only occasional articles published on the PAS. In the last few years, however, there has been increasing attention on the PAS and more articles are being published. When input is being invited for the next edition of DSM-IV (DSM-V?), which will probably not be for a few years, I hope to have enough publications (written by others and myself) to submit a proposal. The argument, sometimes proffered in courts of law, that the parental alienation syndrome does not exist, because it is not listed in DSM-IV, is like saying in 1980 that AIDS does not exist because it was not then to be found in medical textbooks.

There are some who claim that my book on the PAS (The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Creative Therapeutics, Inc., 1992) was not peer-reviewed and therefore the diagnosis cannot be given serious consideration. Again, this is often the argument given by critics, especially in courts of law, when there is something to be gained by utilizing this argument. The facts are that PAS has been given professional recognition via peer-reviewed articles I have written on the PAS that have been published in peer-reviewed professional journals. For those who are not familiar with the term peer reviewed, it refers to scientific publications in which the submitted article is reviewed anonymously by peers with expertise in the particular area being focused on in the submission. Reviewers may reject the article, may accept the article, or may send it back for revision and reconsideration. Generally, the most prestigious journals require peer review before an article can be published.


The following articles of mine on the PAS have been published in peer-review journals.


In addition, the following articles are devoted completely to the PAS. I am not referring here to occasional reference, or even emphasis, but rather such focus that the term is utilized in the title.


In addition, there are many publications that focus significantly on the PAS. I am not referring here to an occasional reference but to specific focus on the PAS even though the PAS name does not appear in the title.


The American Psychological Association has published guidelines* for child-custody evaluations in divorce proceedings. These are the guidelines The American Psychological Association proposes examiners use when conducting such examinations. The guidelines refer to two books of mine, one on the parental alienation syndrome and one on the protocols I use for differentiating between true and false sex-abuse accusations:

* Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluation in Divorce Proceedings. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association (1994).

The Family Law Section of the American Bar Association invited Clawar and Rivlin to write Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children.** The following book of mine is referenced:

**Clawar, S. and Rivlin, B.V. (1988), Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children. Chicago, IL:Division of Family Law, American Bar Association.