Bowlbys Theory of Deprivation- A03

  • Created by: MollyL20
  • Created on: 10-12-20 19:08
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  • Bowlby's theory of deprivation- 44 thieves- A03
    • The evidence may be poor
      • Bowlby drew on a number of sources of evidence for maternal deprivation including studies of children orphaned during the Second World War, those growing up in poor quality orphanages and his 44 thieves study
      • These are all flawed evidence. War-orphans were traumatised and often had poor after care, these factors may have been the causes of later developmental issues rather than seperation
      • Similarly, children growing up from birth in poor quality institutions were deprived of many aspects of care, not just maternal care
      • Furthermore, the 44 thieves study had some major design flaws, most importantly bias, Bowlby himself carried out the assessments for affectionless psychopathy and the family interviews
    • Counter evidence
      • Not all research supports Bowlby's findings. For example, Hilda Lewis (1954) partially replicated the 44 thieves study on a larger scale, looking at 500 young people
        • In her sample a history of early prolonged separation from their mother did not predict criminality or difficulty forming close relationships
      • This is a problem for the theory of maternal deprivation because it suggests that other factors may affect the outcome of early maternal deprivation
    • The critical period is actually more of a sensitive period
      • Bowlby used the term critical period because he believed that prolonged separation inevitably caused damaged if ti took place within that period
      • However, later research has shown that damage is inevitable. Some cases of very severe deprivation have had good outcomes provided the child had some social interactions and good aftercare
      • For example, Jarmila Koluchova (1976) reported the case of twin boys who were isolated form 18 months until they were 7 years old. Subsequently, they were looked after by 2 caring adults and appeared to recover fully
      • Cases like this show that the period identified by Bowlby may be a sensitive period but not critical


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