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AS PSYCHOLOGY NOTES
Bowlby's Evolutionary Theory of Attachment and Maternal Deprivation Theory
Social releases keep the main care giver (mother) close to the child. They are adaptive or innate
(inborn) and the attachment uses behaviour to ensure survival and innate social releases.
The sensitive period or (Critical period) is ideally upto 12 months, however may be up to 3 years,
although the child will suffer in the following ways should the sensitive period exceeds 3 years:
This suggests that the attachment should be between the child and ONE main care giver.
From this (the mother), the child will gain its cognitive, emotional and social developments and
abilities. This provides an internal working model for future relations (a template or schema)
Bowlby's Maternal Deprivation Theory
Bowlby was worried about the effect on children who lose their main care giver and do not form
an attachment in the sensitive or critical period.
Research addressed by Bowlby:
o Looks at 15 children in an institution compared to 15 from natural parents to
o The 15 in the institution suffered from low IQ and sociability depression
Spitz and Wolf
o Looks at 91 children in the USA and Canada
o Results show that 1/3 died before the age of 1 year
To identify why monkeys attach
Baby monkeys were taken from the mother at birth and placed into cages. In the dage were two
wire monkeys; on covered in cloth for comfort and the other with a bottle for feeding. The
monkeys were then stressed with noise and new experiences to see which "mother" they would
1 AS Level Psychology