Parental estrangement on the rise: expert

Parents suffer alienation, depression as a result

There are no official counts of parents whose adult children have cut them off, but evidence suggests it’s on the rise, the New York Times reports. Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn reportedly hasn’t spoken to her father in four years, and Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie were photographed together this year for the first time since they were estranged in 2002. Website and chat rooms devoted to the issue are also on the rise. Some parents who are estranged from their children seek grief counselling, while others become depressed or contemplate suicide. Joshua Coleman, a San Francisco psychologist and expert on parental estrangement, says it appears to be more common, even in families that haven’t suffered an obvious trauma like abuse or addiction. It could be caused over a conflict due to money, a boyfriend or girlfriend, or built-up resentments around a parent’s remarriage or divorce. Dr. Coleman called it a “silent epidemic” because some parents won’t admit they’ve lost contact with their children.

New York Times

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