Psychiatric group: Parental alienation no disorder

September 21, 2012 by David Crary

(AP)—Rebuffing an intensive lobbying campaign, a task force of the American Psychiatric Association has decided not to list the disputed concept of parental alienation in the updated version of its catalog of mental disorders.

The term conveys how a child's relationship with one estranged parent can be poisoned by the other parent, and there's broad agreement that it sometimes occurs in the context of divorces and child-custody disputes.

However, debate has raged for years over whether the phenomenon should be formally classified as a by the psychiatric association as it updates its for the first time since 1994.

The new manual won't be completed until next year, but the decision against classifying parental alienation as a disorder has been made.

Explore further: Anxiety disorders in poor moms likely to result from poverty, not mental illness

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