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04.02.2021

Richard A. WARSHAK, Ph.D. | Importance of Shared Parenting after Divorce

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Richar A. WARSHAK – an American clinical and research psychologist and author. He is best known for his research and advocacy in the areas of child custodyshared parenting, and claims of parental alienation in the context of divorce. Warshak has written three books, The Custody Revolution,[1] Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond From a Vindictive Ex,[2] and the revised edition, Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing.[3]

 

Publications & Studies

Research

Warshak’s research has focused on issues relating to child custody. His doctoral dissertation, The Effects of Father Custody and Mother Custody on Children’s Personality Development,[6] was the first study to directly compare children growing up in father-custody homes to children growing up in mother-custody homes.[7] He later collaborated with John Santrock on the Texas Custody Research Project on a series of studies on the effects of different custody dispositions and stepfamilies.[8]

Warshak’s subsequent research in this area has focused on remarriage, relocation, parenting plans for young children, the American Law Institute‘s approximation rule and children’s preferences in custody disputes. His child custody studies have been cited in case law and legislation.[9][10][11][12]

Parental Alienation

In 2010, Warshak’s articles on Family Bridges: A Workshop for Troubled and Alienated Parent-Child Relationships were followed by discussion of the concept of parental alienation by mental health professionals .[13] Warshak published an article that discussed the controversy about whether a child’s alienation from a parent could be diagnosed as a syndrome and presented arguments both for and against the use of the term parental alienation syndrome.[14]

Warshak takes the position that a child’s alienation from a parent may be the result of many causes, including the behavior of the rejected parent.[15][16]

Warshak asserts that the emotional and financial costs of severe alienation and the difficulties in repairing that damage make it important to identify children who are at risk and to educate judges. His educational video, Welcome Back, Pluto: Understanding, Preventing, and Overcoming Parental Alienation, is directed at children, teens, and young adults who are alienated or at risk for becoming alienated.[17] In addition to education, Warshak asserts that courts must rapidly and effectively enforce orders related to children’s contact with both parents.[18]

Consensus Report on Shared Parenting

In 2014 Warshak’s article Social Science and Parenting Plans for Young Children: A Consensus Report, was published by the American Psychological Association in the journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.[19] The article summarized research on different child custody arrangements after divorce, recommending shared parenting in the vast majority of cases. Warshak’s conclusions were endorsed by 110 other researchers and practitioners, many of whom held prominent academic and research positions.[20]

“Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sinn an mir kënnen e Beispill fir den Rescht vun Europa sinn.” –

– “We want to remain what we are and we can be an example for the rest of Europe.”

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