Bowlby - child psychology

HideShow resource information
View mindmap
  • Bowlby
    • theory of attachments
      • keep infants nearby to keep them out of danger this is known as survival value
      • due to evolution human s have developed an attachment system which activates behaviours that causes caregivers to remain close - such as crying and clinging. - these are called social releasers.
      • critical period for attachment development - occur by 2.5 years
      • deprived of motherly love there will be adult consequences therefore attachments will also have continuity since they determine later child characteristics and adult relationships - internal working model develops
      • supporting evidence - from Lorenz who investigated imprinting in geese. - the geeslings in his study followed Lorenz to protect themselves from preditors - this shows how attachment has survival value.
        • Harlow and Harlow monkeys - showed social abnormalities in adulthood due to earl experiences of deprivation - shows the continuity of early attachments and adulthood
      • limitations - animal experiments may not generalise to humans because we are more complex in terms of attachment formation.
        • strengths - other studies in humans have the same findings as the animal studiesfor example - srouffe et al found that children rated as securely attached in ionfancy showed high levels of social competence in adolescence this hsos that there is correlation between early attachment and later adult relationships.
          • the evolutionary theory has face validity as attachments develop even if the child is maltreated. for example children tend  to cling when they are frightened or upset also there are real life examples which show that people may turn to crime if early relation ships are not secure.
        • evolutionary theory of attachment is difficult to test becase it is difficult to obtain scientific evidence therefore lacks credibility.
      • alternatives - temperament hypothesis which suggests that some children are born more trusting and friendly. this means that attachments may not be an evolutionary process that provides survival value.
        • behaviourists which argue that attachments are learnt through operant conditioning for example the mother may become the reinforcer
    • maternal deprivation
      • deprivation refers to the breaking of attachment bonds. this can be disrupted by physical separation from their primary caregiver - this can be short term or long term.
      • continous relationship with mother is vital but the development of this relationship must occur within the critical period - child needs relationship with one primary caregiver - this called monotropy
      • 2 consequences if there was disruption during the critical period - affectionless psychopathy - developmental retardation.
      • supporting evidence - bowlbys study of 44 juvenile thieves - 14/44 were affectionless psychopaths - had experienced early separation from their mothers in comparison to none of the control group this shows there is a link between early experiences and later criminality
        • Robertson nd Robertson researched on john and laura indicated that children who were separate from their mothers went through protest, despair and detachment
        • the effects of maternal deprivation hypothesis have also been shown in monkeys - harlow and harlows study showed social abnormalities in monkeys who experienced early deprivation.
      • limitations - animal research used to support Bowlby may not be valid for humans
        • findings are based on retrospective data so the evidence may not be reliable - findings only related to thieves who have been separated from their caregives and only 14/44 were classified as affectionless psychopaths.
      • alternatives - biological factorswould point to areas of the brain such as the prefrontal cortext that could lead to antisocial behaviour - shown in raine et al study of violent criminls who have low activity in their parietal cortex
      • application/value - helped to change hospital policies so that children had more access for visits from their caregivers.
        • the key worker strategy in nurseries to minimise bond disruption
      • extra points - bowlbys idea can be argued to be sexist as it leads to the mother being blamed for the actions of their child. - was also used to remove female labour returning them to the home.
        • Bowlby ignores the existence of multiple attachments and exaggerates the concept of monotropy - schaffer and emerson suggested that a child may have attachemnts to people other than the mother - Bowwlby fa8ils to take into ccontthe quality of interaction.
    • 44 juvenile thieves.
      • aim - to test the maternal deprivation hypothesis - to see whether frequent separations were associated with a risk of behavioural disorders in  particular affectionless psychopathy
      • procedure - 88 participants ages 5-16 who were refered to a child guidance clinic where Bowlby worked - 44/stealing - 14 thieves identified as affectionless psychopath - remaining 44 had commited zero crimes - they were emotionally maladjusted - none of this control group was diagnosed as affectionless psychopath. - interviwed children and their families nd was able to build up a record of their early life experiences.
      • results - Bowlby found 86% of the affectionless psychopaths had experienced early separation from their mothers. only 4% of control group had experienced frequent early separations.
      • conclusion - these finding suggest a link between early separations and later emotional and social maladjustment. maternal deprivation appears to lead the affectionless psychopathy. these finding support the maternal deprivation hypothesis.
      • methodology - the evidence is correlational which means we can only say that deprivation/separation and affectionless psychopathy are linked not that one caused the other.- study gathered a lot of data both quantitative and qqualitative from multiple sources using different methods - data is rich in detail.
        • the data on separation were collected retrospectively and therefore may not be reliable. parents may not have accurately recalled separations during infancy. how do we know whether these children experienced deprivation or whether they had good substitute emotional care during their separations - validity xan be questioned.
      • generalisabilit - the findings of the study havelow population validity - study only looked at juviniele thieves not all who are separated - only 17/44 had been separated
      • application/value - despite methodological criticisms findings of study are supported by other studies showing the relationship between deprivation and later adult problems e.g harlows monkey and robertsons observations . - the study has given insight into the reasons behind criminal behaviour. in addition, it sheds light on the importance of a single caregiver which provides implications for child-rearing and day care
      • alternatives - may have been caused by biological factors - raine et als research there is link between brain abnormalities and criminal behaviour.


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Attachment resources »