We are raising funds to pay for a nationwide, representative poll of adults in the United States to assess the prevalence of parental alienating behaviors and parental alienation. This problem involves one parent saying or doing things to damage, destroy, or sever the relationship between their child and the other parent.
Such polls typically cost $6-7K to conduct, and we have been given an opportunity to conduct a poll for only $2,500! The primary costs for this project entail the purchasing of phone lists (landline and cell phones) in order to get a large enough sample (about 500-600 people) to survey.
We will publish the results in a peer-reviewed journal to ensure that the findings are made available to researchers, and will share our findings with policy makers and other influential people who can help address this problem more effectively.
Who are we?
We are a group of university- and clinically-based researchers working together across several universities. The team includes Drs. Jennifer J. Harman, Zeynep Biringen, Sadie Leder-Elder, Amy Baker and Edward Kruk.
Why do we need a representative poll?
Although parental alienation and alienating behaviors in separated or divorced families have been well documented in over 500 references drawn from professional literatures across 30 countries, estimates of prevalence vary greatly depending on the method used. There have not been ANY published studies assessing how common this problem is in a nationwide, representative study.
There are many people who deny that parental alienation exists at all. Without knowing how many people and families this problem affects, greater research attention, funding for basic science and interventions, as well as legal policy changes are not likely to be devoted to understand how this problem impacts children, parents, and social institutions.
Judicial systems rely on evidence that has been accepted by experts in the field to make decisions that are in the “best interest of the child.” Obtaining an accurate picture of the number of families parental alienation affects can encourage more research in this area.
Not understanding the scope of the problem has also inhibited social analyses of why this problem persists despite there having been a few recent clinical, legislative, and judicial interventions attempting to address it.
Why do we need your help, and how soon do we need the funds?
We hope to conduct the poll in the summer of 2016. While we could seek grant funding for this project, such funding can take upwards of a year to secure, and even more time to execute. The opportunity to conduct this study over this summer necessitates more immediate funding.
We know millions of families in the U.S. are dealing with the terrible problem. We would like to get a very clear, accurate estimate so that more help can be provided to victims of parental alienation.