Maternal Deprivation

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  • Maternal Deprivation
    • Basics
      • Deprivation: Loss of emotional care through separation of attachment figure
      • Prolonged separation from attachment figure causes serious damage to emotional/intellectual development
      • Monotropy- to mum in particular
      • Critical period- time frame in which we have to form attachment or it may not happen
      • IWM- attachment and how good it is stays with you for life
      • Prolonged deprivation leads to lower IQ/affectionless psychopathy
    • 44 Thieves study
      • 44 criminal thieves interviewed for signs of AP- lack of guilt/empathy/affection.
      • Families interviewed to establish whether thieves had prolonged separation
      • 14/44 thieves affectionless psychopaths, 12 experienced MD.
    • Evaluation
      • Support from animal studies: Monkey's preferred comfort mother
      • Small sample size- not representative, lacks PV, harder to generalise
      • Deterministic- ignores later life events, proposes inevitable psychological damage when maternally deprived
      • Can form attachments after critical period- takes longer
      • What about paternal deprivation?
      • Social desirability- families may have lied to look better, retrospective data
      • Not sure of cause and effect
    • Deprivation/Privation?
      • Many argue that Bowlby's effects were not to do with deprivation, but privation
      • Deprivation: loss of primary attachment figure after the attachment has developed
      • Privation: failure to form any attachment in the first place


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