Avieli, H., & Levy, I. (2022). “I feel erased:” A qualitative analysis of grandparent experiences of parental alienation. Family Relations.

Objective: This study employs the life course perspective to explore thelived experience of grandparents who have no contact with their grandchildrendue to parental alienation (PA). Background: PA represents situations inwhich a child becomes estranged from one parent because of the manipulationof the other parent. The estrangement from the alienated parent leads to andmanifests inter alia in denial of contact with the grandparents from thealienated side of the family. It is critical to examine the experiences ofgrandparents who were denied contact with their grandchildren due to PA toidentify these grandparents’ unique needs and facilitate assistance andsupport. Method: Thirteen grandparents aged 63 to 83 years (M = 72 years, SD= 6.52) were interviewed using an interpretive phenomenological analysisapproach to analyze their narratives. Findings: Participant interviewsrevealed four superordinate themes: (a) the race against time, (b) disregardof grandparents’ victim status, (c) health and functioning implications ofalienation from grandchildren, and (d) reflections on being a grandparentsuffering from PA and insights at this stage of life. Conclusions: PA‐relatedestrangement from grandchildren leads to negative outcomes regardinggrandparents’ daily functioning, perception, and well‐being. Agingcharacteristics collide with these outcomes to form an experience unique tograndparents in these vulnerable situations. Implications: Practitionerstreating older adults require awareness of parental alienation’s adverseimpact on grandparents to address their specific needs and hardships.Additionally, it is incumbent on the legal system and practitioners involvedin PA cases to consider grandparent victimization, allow them to voice theirpain, and take their interests into account.