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Deprivation and Separation
Deprivation
When the attachment between the infant and the caregiver is broken because of
separation.
Separation
When an infant is no longer with the main caregiver for some reason, either short
term of long term. For example, because of divorce or the parent going to hospital.
Bowlby's Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis
Bowlby realised that a child who suffered a loss of attachment (deprivation)
during the first 24 months of life, will develop an internal working model of
themselves as unworthy.…read more

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Harlow and Zimmerman (1959)
Infant monkeys were removed from their mothers and split into groups. One group
had access to a towel monkey as well as a food giving wire monkey. Another group
only had a wire monkey. Those that were able to seek comfort from a towel monkey
were better adjusted physically and mentally. It was concluded that comfort as well as
food is important for development.…read more

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Evidence for the Importance of Attachments
1.Spitz (1946)
Spitz studies children in hospitals and found that children deprived of their
attachment figure because depressed.
If an attachment was present for the first 6 months of life then development
was good. If broke, over a 3 month period of the separation, the child becomes
increasingly depressed.
He used the term `hospitalisation' for the depression becoming severe.…read more

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Robertson (1948)
Robertson was employed by Bowlby to observe (naturalistic observations)
children in a young institution.
Robertson found that children deprived of their attachment figure went
through three stages:
o Protest - In the protest stage, children clearly showed anger and fear,
and cried and called for their mother. Bowlby thought that this was a
survival instinct ­ making a fuss in order to attract attention of a
caregiver.…read more

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Evaluation
Strengths
Robertson used a naturalistic observation method which means that the children
were in a familiar environment and are more likely to display natural behaviour.
Therefore this increases the validity of the study.
A strength of Robertson's study is that he made many films of the children's'
behaviour, allowing comparisons to be made. As he found similar results throughout,
it can therefore be concluded that there is an element of reliability.…read more

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Golfarb (1955)
The aim was to find out whether later fostering was successful.
He studied 15 children who had lived in an institution until being fostered at
around 3 years old.
He compared them with a group of children that had been fostered from
around 6 months.
He found that those fostered later showed problems in adolescence to a greater
degree. They were also less emotionally secure, less mature and were behind
intellectually.…read more

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Bowlby (1946) ­ Forty-four Juvenile Thieves
Study In Detail
Aim
To test the Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis, by showing that early separation
was associated with an increased risk of behavioural disorders, in particular
affectionless psychopathy.
Procedure
The study was carried out at the London Child Guidance Clinic.
Bowlby used a group of 44 adolescents who were referred to the clinic because
of stealing, and a group of 44 adolenscents with emotional problems (but had
not committed any crime) to act as the control group.…read more

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Evaluation
Strengths
The study is a case study meaning the results have high validity. The data was
gathered from a range of sources such as case histories and interviews, gathering both
quantitative and qualitative data, producing more in depth results, therefore
increasing the validity of the study.
There was a control group who were neither thieves or affectionless. This allowed
Bowlby to show a link between affectionless psychopathy and stealing.…read more

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Robertson and Robertson
Robertson and Robertson followed four children; John, Jane Thomas and Lucy.
John was placed in a residential nursery, aged 17 months, whilst his mother
went to hospital. He tried to get comfort but the child to nurse ratio was too
big. John became increasingly distressed and his father could not comfort him.
When his mother returned, he rejected her.
Jane was around 18 months old when she was fostered by Robertson whilst her
mother was in hospital.…read more

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