Bowlby - 44 thieves 1946

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  • Bowlby - 44 thieves - 1946
    • Aim
      • Gain evidence to support maternal deprivation hypothesis
      • See if there's an association between delinquency and maternal deprivation
    • Hypothesis
      • Thieves will have had a more prolonged separation from mother in sensitive period
    • Design
      • Retrospective
      • Matched control group to sample
    • Sample
      • 44 juvenile thieves
        • attending Tavistock guidance clinic
          • referred in different ways
            • 22 by school
            • 2 by school at parents' request
            • 3 by court orders
            • 9 by probation officer
        • 50% chronic or serious offenders
        • 16% stealing for more than 3 years
        • 20% stole a few times
        • 10% stole once
        • 34% under 9
        • 50% under 11
      • Control group
        • 44 emotionally disturbed children
        • Matched on age and intelligence
      • 75% male - 25% female
        • usual clinic intake was 60% male, 40% female
      • intelligence 3rd above average
    • Procedure
      • unstructured interviews
        • about childhood experiences
      • IQ tests
      • Psychiatric assessments
      • Bowlby interviewed child and mother
        • about separation and its effects
      • case conferences
      • follow up interviews
      • psychotherapy offered
      • affectionless psychopathy checklist
        • inability to have emotionally intense relationships
        • lack of affectionate behaviour
        • lack of guilt and remorse when causing distress to others
    • Findings
      • Thieves
        • 17% suffered maternal deprivation
        • 32% affectionless psychopaths
        • 20% depressed
        • less than 5% classed as normal
      • Control group
        • 4% suffered maternal deprivation
        • 0% affectionless psychopaths
        • 30% depressed
        • 20% overly conscientious
      • 86% of affectionless psychopaths suffered maternal deprivation
    • Conclusion
      • maternal deprivation affects long term emotional development
      • effects of maternal deprivation will be present several years later
      • effects of maternal deprivation arent reversable
      • only 17% had mat. dep. - cannot conclude link
    • Evaluation
      • not generalisable
        • not representative of normal clinic intake
      • constructive memory
        • affects validity
      • social desirability bias
        • may not be valid
      • researcher bias
      • triangulation
      • highlighted importance of attachment
      • cannot find cause and effect

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