Managing Contact Difficulties: A Child-Centred Approach

2003-FCY-5E

GLOSSARY

The following terminology frequently appears in the literature concerning parental alienation syndrome. It is used in this paper to help ensure an accurate representation of sources.

Alienated Parent:
The alienated parent is the parent whose relationship with the child is undermined or obstructed (i.e. the target of alienating behaviour).
Alienating Parent:
The alienating parent is the parent engaging in behaviour that undermines or obstructs the child's relationship with the other parent. This parent may also be referred to as the alienator.
Allegations:
Typically one parent makes allegations about the behaviour of the other parent. Children may also make allegations. Unsubstantiated allegations are those in which there is suspicion but insufficient evidence to conclude the allegation is true. When there is no evidence to support the allegation, it is considered unfounded. When the evidence supports the allegation it is founded.
Contact:
Contact refers to time the child spends with a parent after separation or divorce.
Contact Difficulties:
The term contact difficulties refers to a complex set of circumstances that negatively affects the child-parent relationship, whether originating with the residential parent, non-residential parent, child, or a combination of two or more of these people.
Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals:
Zirogiannis (2001) states that there is no universally recognized standard for assessing the reliability and validity of expert social science evidence. Nevertheless, three American cases are frequently referred to in the literature concerning parental alienation syndrome: Frye v. United States, Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, and Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. In Frye v. United States, scientific evidence was considered admissible if it was based on generally accepted professional standards. This has come to be referred to as the general-acceptance standard for evidence. Subsequently, in Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, the judges were viewed as having gate-keeping responsibilities with respect to the admissibility of evidence based on a four-step test. Non-binding considerations for judges were suggested in this Daubert decision. This is referred to as the multiple-factor test. The United States Supreme Court addressed questions related to expert evidence in Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. The Court concluded that judges have considerable discretion to determine reliability and validity. Zirogiannis states that this decision permits the introduction of novel expert analysis. Refer to Zirogiannis (2001) for a more detailed explanation of evidentiary issues for the introduction of expert evidence.
Department of Justice: 2001 Consultation Process:
At the request of the Federal/Provincial/Territorial Family Law Committee, IER (a private consulting firm) conducted a countrywide consultation process in Spring 2001. This consultation involved parenting plan issues as well as a review of aspects of the child support guidelines. The consultation report is available from the Department of Justice and authorship is attributed to IER.
folie à deux:
Ellis (2000: 218) identifies a similarity between folie à deux and PAS. She states:

... the core feature of folie à deux is that a delusion develops in one person who is involved in a close relationship with another person who already has a delusional disorder. The primary individual is dominant in the relationship and gradually imposes his or her delusional system on the more passive and initially healthy second person. These individuals are usually related by blood ties or by marriage and have lived together for a long time, often in isolation. The most common dyads are husband to wife, sister to sister, and parent to children.

Frye v. United States:
Zirogiannis (2001) states that there is no universally recognized standard for assessing the reliability and validity of expert social science evidence. Nevertheless, three American cases are frequently referred to in the literature concerning parental alienation syndrome: Frye v. United States, Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, and Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. In Frye v. United States, scientific evidence was considered admissible if it was based on generally accepted professional standards. This has come to be referred to as the general-acceptance standard for evidence. Subsequently, in Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, the judges were viewed as having gate-keeping responsibilities with respect to the admissibility of evidence based on a four-step test. Non-binding considerations for judges were suggested in this Daubert decision. This is referred to as the multiple-factor test. The United States Supreme Court addressed questions related to expert evidence in Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. The Court concluded that judges have considerable discretion to determine reliability and validity. Zirogiannis states that this decision permits the introduction of novel expert analysis. Refer to Zirogiannis (2001) for a more detailed explanation of evidentiary issues for the introduction of expert evidence.
High-conflict Manager:
Same as Parenting Coordinator. Baris et al. (2001: 10) use the term parenting coordinator (PC)as a generic or umbrella term. They state "By Parenting Coordinator, we mean an individual assigned by the court or by stipulation through the court whose task is to educate, mediate, and perhaps arbitrate parental disputes over the raising of their children." They also employ the term "high-conflict manager". In some jurisdictions, such professionals are referred to as special masters or special advocates.
Kumho Tire v. Carmichael:
Zirogiannis (2001) states that there is no universally recognized standard for assessing the reliability and validity of expert social science evidence. Nevertheless, three American cases are frequently referred to in the literature concerning parental alienation syndrome: Frye v. United States, Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, and Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. In Frye v. United States, scientific evidence was considered admissible if it was based on generally accepted professional standards. This has come to be referred to as the general-acceptance standard for evidence. Subsequently, in Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, the judges were viewed as having gate-keeping responsibilities with respect to the admissibility of evidence based on a four-step test. Non-binding considerations for judges were suggested in this Daubert decision. This is referred to as the multiple-factor test. The United States Supreme Court addressed questions related to expert evidence in Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. The Court concluded that judges have considerable discretion to determine reliability and validity. Zirogiannis states that this decision permits the introduction of novel expert analysis. Refer to Zirogiannis (2001) for a more detailed explanation of evidentiary issues for the introduction of expert evidence.
Modified Contact:
Modified contact refers to indirect child-parent contact. Examples of indirect means of contact include e-mail and letters or cards.
Non-Residential Parent:
The parent with whom the child does not normally live. This may or may not be the parent who has decision-making responsibility.
Parenting Coordinator:
Baris et al. (2001: 10) use the term parenting coordinator (PC)as a generic or umbrella term. They state "By Parenting Coordinator, we mean an individual assigned by the court or by stipulation through the court whose task is to educate, mediate and perhaps arbitrate parental disputes over the raising of their children". They also employ the term "high-conflict manager". In some jurisdictions, such professionals are referred to as special masters or special advocates.
Rejected Parent:
The rejected parent is the parent whose relationship with the child is undermined or obstructed (i.e. the target of alienating behaviour).
Residential Parent:
The parent with whom the child primarily resides. This may or may not be the parent who has decision-making responsibility.
Special Joint Parliamentary Committee on Child Custody and Access:
This committee was comprised of twenty-three members from both Houses of Parliament during the 36th Parliament (1st Session). The Committee heard evidence from government officials, legal and mental health practitioners, parents and children. Their report, For the Sake of the Children, was tabled in parliament on December 10, 1998.
Special Master:
Similar to Parenting Coordinator. Baris et al. (2001: 10) use the term parenting coordinator (PC)as a generic or umbrella term. They state "By Parenting Coordinator, we mean an individual assigned by the court or by stipulation through the court whose task is to educate, mediate, and perhaps arbitrate parental disputes over the raising of their children." They also employ the term "high-conflict manager." In some jurisdictions, such professionals are referred to as special masters or special advocates.
Standard for Expert Social Science Testimony:
Zirogiannis (2001) states that there is no universally recognized standard for assessing the reliability and validity of expert social science evidence. Nevertheless, three American cases are frequently referred to in the literature concerning parental alienation syndrome: Frye v. United States, Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, and Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. In Frye v. United States, scientific evidence was considered admissible if it was based on generally accepted professional standards. This has come to be referred to as the general-acceptance standard for evidence. Subsequently, in Daubert v. Merrill Pharmaceuticals, the judges were viewed as having gatekeeping responsibilities with respect to the admissibility of evidence based on a four-step test. Non-binding considerations for judges were suggested in this Daubert decision. This is referred to as the multiple-factor test. The United States Supreme Court addressed questions related to expert evidence in Kumho Tire v. Carmichael. The Court concluded that judges have considerable discretion to determine reliability and validity. Zirogiannis states that this decision permits the introduction of novel expert analysis. Refer to Zirogiannis (2001) for a more detailed explanation of evidentiary issues for the introduction of expert evidence.
Supervised Contact:
Supervised contact usually refers to supervision of the time that a child spends with a non-residential parent. A member of the extended family may provide the supervision. In some cases it is provided in a formal setting such as an Access Centre.
Target Parent:
The target parent is the parent whose relationship with the child is undermined or obstructed (i.e. the target of alienating behaviour).
Transfers:
Transfer refers to the child shifting from one parent care to the other parent's care.
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