The Impact of Parental Alienation

When parental alienation occurs, the targeted parent suffers. But they are not the only victim — in many cases, extended family members, such as once-beloved grandparents, can be victimized as well. However, the greatest impact falls upon the children who are used as pawns by the alienating parent.

No One Wins
No One Wins
The child suffers as a result of the harmful tug-of-war created when one parent underminds a child's relationship with the other parent.

In a 2005 study in the American Journal of Family Therapy titled “The Long Term Effects of Parental Alienation on Adult Children,” the study author identified six major areas of impact on children who were used by alienating parents.

The 6 major Areas of IMPACT
Low Self Esteem

Children who are used by alienating parents tend to experience intense guilt and shame for many years after the fact.


Around 70% of children who suffer parental alienation reported experiencing depression later in life.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Approximately of the study participants reported having problems with alcohol and/or drugs.

Lack of Trust

Children who experienced parental alienation were less likely to trust other people and themselves, leading to mental suffering and trouble forming relationships.

Alienation from Own Children

Half of the children surveyed in Baker’s study reported that they later became alienated from their own kids—a vicious intergenerational cycle.


Roughly of the children who were used by an alienating parent grew up to have at least one divorce. A fourth of participants had multiple divorces.

Who suffers most? The kids - for the rest of their lives.