Grant Funding Provided by Steel Partners Foundation

Aspen, CO (April 25, 2018) – Steel Partners Foundation will grant a $50,000 research award to a team of distinguished expert professionals in the fields of psychology and medicine that will enable them to conduct research on a family dynamic known as child alignment, a situation in which a child has aligned with one parent and is either resisting contact with, or has rejected, the other parent. While in some cases a child may have a reasonable reason for resisting contact with a parent, in other cases there is no reasonable or legitimate reason, in which it may reflect indoctrination or manipulation by one parent to induce the child to reject the other. Commonly known as parental alienation, such indoctrination or manipulation is a form of psychological and emotional abuse. As with other adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), alienation is a major risk factor for severe psychological, emotional, and physical harm in adult life and, without prompt and proper intervention, the damage can be permanent. Unfortunately, even for mental health professionals, it is sometimes difficult or challenging to determine the reasons for a child’s rejection of a parent. The purpose of the study would be to identify signs and symptoms in a child that might help professionals to distinguish between children who have rejected a parent for a legitimate reason from those who have not.

According to Steven G. Miller, M.D., an expert in behavioral medicine and child abuse, and one of the researchers, “This could be a very important study. We hope the findings will clarify and validate specific criteria that clinicians can use to distinguish between parental alienation and other types of child alignment.”

Explaining how and why this research should help to fill a number of gaps in our current understanding, Warren Lichtenstein, founder of Steel Partners Foundation, noted, “This study should provide critical information for professionals who deal with parental alienation, realistic estrangement, and other types of child alignment. We hope the findings will help mental health professionals, attorneys, courts, and other professionals distinguish between parental alienation and realistic estrangement.”

Steel Partners Foundation

Steel Partners Foundation was formed in 2001 by Warren Lichtenstein, founder and executive chairman of Steel Partners Holdings L.P. (NYSE: SPLP). Mr. Lichtenstein created Steel Partners Foundation as a way to support philanthropic causes that are close to his heart. As a proud father of two children, he wanted to make a significant impact within the communities where he and his family live and work, with an emphasis on causes related to children, education and sports.