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`Some children seem to recover from the effect of privation, but others do
not' outline research into the effects of privation and consider the extent
to which the effects of privation can be reversed.
Privation is a lack or absence of basic needs or comforts of life, many
psychologists have studied the effects of privation on children of certain
ages and backgrounds, and analysed how they recover.
One of these studies was that of Koluchova she studied a pair of Czech
twins who had been locked in a cellar until the age of 7, when they were
found they had no speech and were terrified of people, Koluchova wanted
to see how they recovered from their trauma, the boys were adopted by 2
sisters who gave them a loving and caring home, and after she visited
again in 1977 they had an average intelligence and developed into healthy
sociable boys, Koluchova concluded that privation can be reversed when
given a supportive loving environment, although these twins are different
to other studies as they had each others company, which may diminish
effects of privation.
Another study that suggests privation is reversible is Hodges and
Tizzard's study of restored children and adoptees following initial time in
care, they found that a majority of the adopted children were able to form
strong attachments by age 8, whereas the restored group continued to
experience some problems with their family relationships notably with
siblings, this is probably because the restored children aren't receiving the
same amount of love as the adopted children, and this may be down to the
parents as they were at one stage considered unfit, so they aren't likely to
be perfect parents.
One study that suggests privation cannot be reversed is Curtiss'
study of Genie, she is a case of extreme privation, kept in silence, tied to a
potty and fed baby food until the age of 5 she wasn't found until the age
of 13. She had limited language skills and only found attachment with
some foster carers, Curtiss concluded that privation can only be partially
recovered but not fully, I think that Genie could have recovered better but
not fully if she had found a stable loving home as suggested in
Koluchova's study, there may be effects of malnourishment or even
genetics which were responsible for the condition. She was also found a
lot later than that of the previous studies this may have some effect on the
results seen as it would be harder to undo the damage which had already
Although bowlby's 44 thieves study does not involve privation it is
about the maternal deprivation hypothesis which mean that early
separation leads to delinquency. He compared 44 juvenile thieves to 44
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He studied 17 thieves which had been separated from their
mother whilst only 2 of the other juveniles had experienced separation.
Bowlby's theory may be less reliable because he could already have had
his theory before his evidence.…read more