This study examined communication apprehension within parent–child relationships as a function of parental alienation and self-esteem. We posited that parental alienation in childhood was positively associated with parent–child communication apprehension in adulthood, and that self-esteem in adulthood mediated the association. Results from 211 college-aged students indicated that parental alienation from male and female caregivers in childhood was positively associated with communication apprehension with female caregivers in adulthood. In addition, parental alienation from male caregivers in childhood was positively associated with communication apprehension with male caregivers in adulthood. The findings also indicated a stronger positive relationship between parental alienation and parent–child communication apprehension when self-esteem was low rather than high.
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