A case supporting Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis.

A detailed description how  the studies support John Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis including Lorenz (1935), Harlow and Harlow (1958), Goldfarb (1943), Spitz and Wolf (1946), Genie (Curtiss), Roberstons naturalistic observations.

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To present a case supporting Bowlby's maternal deprivation
hypothesis ­ "The effects of deprivation cannot be reversed"
Support can come from: Lorenz, Harlow and Harlow, Goldfarb, Spitz and Wolf, Genie Curtis
and Robertson.
Konrad Lorenz (1935)
Found that a precocial species, who are mobile very soon after birth, imprint on
the mother within the first few days of life.
This period was referred to this period of imprinting as the "critical" period as the
birds would attach to the mother (or the closest moving object) within this limited
period of time.
He split a clutch of Goose eggs and got half to be with the mother and the rest
were placed in an incubator and saw Konrad on hatching.
The second group subsequently followed Konrad everywhere and got
distressed if they were separated from him.
Imprinting at this time is instinctual as it is a pre-programmed behaviour but if an
attachment is not made during this critical period, it is difficult to form an
attachment afterwards.
This study supports Bowlby's hypothesis that the effects of deprivation cannot be
reversed as he used the idea that there is a critical period to describe how human infants
attach within a sensitive period which is in the first two years of life, to a caregiver. This
shows that it is possible that if a relationship is not made with a caregiver within this
critical period as a baby, further attachments cannot be made with other's in future. It
also shows that for animals, it does not matter who the caregiver is as long as they care
for them and the imprint is then made on this person and therefore an attachment is
created.
Harlow and Harlow (1958)
Effects of deprivation on young rhesus monkeys, this revealed the importance of
a mothers love for healthy childhood development.
The monkeys were given a choice of two different `mothers', one was a soft
terrycloth but with no food, and the other was made of wire but provided food
from an attached baby bottle.
These young monkeys were removed from their natural mothers a few hours
after birth and left them to be raised by these `surrogate' mothers.
The experiment showed that the monkeys spent more time with their cloth
mother than their wire mother.
"These data make it obvious that contact comfort is a variable of overwhelming
importance in the development of affectional response, whereas lactation is a
variable of negligible importance," Harlow explained (1958).
Harlow allowed the monkeys to explore a room either with their `surrogate'
mother inside the room or without. Monkeys in the presence of their `surrogate'
mother would use it as a security as they were exploring.

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To present a case supporting Bowlby's maternal deprivation
hypothesis ­ "The effects of deprivation cannot be reversed"
Support can come from: Lorenz, Harlow and Harlow, Goldfarb, Spitz and Wolf, Genie Curtis
and Robertson.
When the surrogate mothers were removed from the room, the young monkeys
no longer had a secure base to explore the room and would often freeze up,
crouch, rock, scream and cry.…read more

Page 3

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To present a case supporting Bowlby's maternal deprivation
hypothesis ­ "The effects of deprivation cannot be reversed"
Support can come from: Lorenz, Harlow and Harlow, Goldfarb, Spitz and Wolf, Genie Curtis
and Robertson.
However if this attachment was broken (e.g. by a child going into hospital) then
over a 3 month period of being deprived of the attachment figure the child
became increasingly depressed.
At first this depression was partial but after a short term it would become severe
depression.…read more

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To present a case supporting Bowlby's maternal deprivation
hypothesis ­ "The effects of deprivation cannot be reversed"
Support can come from: Lorenz, Harlow and Harlow, Goldfarb, Spitz and Wolf, Genie Curtis
and Robertson.
language development and grammar cannot be acquired if not introduced to a child
before puberty. This supports Bowlby's theory that the effects of deprivation cannot be
reversed as Genie made a small recovery but never recovered enough from her
isolation to live an independent lifestyle.…read more

Page 5

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To present a case supporting Bowlby's maternal deprivation
hypothesis ­ "The effects of deprivation cannot be reversed"
Support can come from: Lorenz, Harlow and Harlow, Goldfarb, Spitz and Wolf, Genie Curtis
and Robertson.…read more

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