Alienation and estrangement Children who become alienated and estranged from the non-residential parents (Kelly & Johnston, 2001) are also at high risk of poor adjustment. Estrangement is when children, for good reasons, become reluctant or refuse to see the parent. Typically this is because they have experienced poor treatment, been overwhelmed developmentally by the visiting arrangements, or suffered family violence. Parental alienation is defined as a child’s unreasonable rejection of one parent due to the influence of the other parent combined with the child’s own contributions (Kelly & Johnston, 2001). Early intervention (and usually this requires specialist intervention) in alienation and estrangement is advocated.