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MMPI-2 Findings of Primitive Defenses in Alienating Parents

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To test the involvement of primitive defenses in Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), we collected 158 MMPI-2s from court ordered custody evaluations from 7 forensic psychology practices; 76 were PAS cases and 82 were custody cases without PAS (controls). We used two MMPI-2 indexes to measure primitive defenses: L + K - F and (L + Pa + Sc) - (Hy + Pt). We found that mothers and fathers who were alienators had higher (clinical range) scores indicating primitive defenses such as splitting and projective identification, than control mothers and fathers (normal range scores) in both our indexes. Target parents were mostly similar to the control parents. The results showed strong support for Gardner's definition of PAS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Private Practice, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA 2: Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2008

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