Differential Diagnosis of the Three Types of
Parental Alienation Syndrome
The Campaign of Denigration Minimal Moderate Formidable
Weak, Frivolous, or Absud Rationalizations for the Depreciation Minimal ModerateMultiple absurd rationalizations
Lack of Ambivalence Normal ambivalence No ambivalence No ambivalence
The Independent-Thinker Phenomenon Usually absent Present Present
Reflexive Support of the Alienating Parent in the Parental ConflictMinimal Present Present
Absence of Guilt Normal guilt Minimal to no guilt No guilt
Borrowed Scenarios Minimal Present Present
Spread of the Animosity to the Extended Family of the Alienated Parent Minimal Present Formidable, often fanatic
Transitional Difficulties at the Time of Visitation Usually absent Moderate Formidable or visit not possible
Behavior During Visitation Good Intermittently antagonistic and provocative No visit, or destructive and continually provocative behavior throughout visit
Bonding with the Alienator Strong, healthy Strong, mildly to moderately pathological Severely pathological, often paranoid bonding
Bonding with the Alienated Parent Strong, healthy, or minimally pathological Strong, healthy, or minimally pathological Strong, healthy, or minimally pathological

Richard A. Gardner, M.D.