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  • Created by: Genevieve
  • Created on: 21-12-10 11:46

Disruption of Attachment

What does PDD stand for?


Robertson & Bowbly studied: young children separated by their mother for some time. They found there were 3 stages in the child's response to separation which lead to protest-despair-detachment (PDD) model.

What are the 3 stages and how does the child react in each stage?

1.) Protest - Child reaction: which is often intense. The child cries and appears panic stricken.

2.) Despair - Child reaction: total loss of hope. Little intreats in surroundings, and often tries to comfort themselves, sometimes by self rocking.

3.) Detachment - Child reaction: appears to be less distressed but is detached from their surroundings. When the mother reappears little intreats is shown in her. 

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Disruption of Attachment

Bowlby looked at the importance of a continuous relationship between mother (or a permanent mother substitute) and the child. He said that if there is any separation, what will occur?


Which will have a permanent, irreversible, long term effect on?

The mental health of a child.

If the separation occurs before the age of 2 and a half years the effects will be?

Particularly severe.

Although a child is at risk of deprivation up to the age of?


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Disruption of Attachment

Roberston found a way to avoid PDD, what was the main way?

A substitute mother cared for the child in their own home, thus maintaining emotional bonds during separation. 

Roberston & Robertson used what research method in their study of young children in separation? A Case study.

Why is this method good? (2)

  • High in ecological validity - results can be generalised to a real life situation.
  • Detailed in depth info is collected - behaviour can be looked at to give useful results.

Why is the method problematic? (3)

  • No cause and effect relationship can be established. 
  • Small bias sample - can't generalise to wider population
  • A relationship can form between the researcher and the child - bias.
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Disruption of Attachment.

How did child care practises change as a result of Robertson & Roberston's research?

In hospitals:

  • parents are encouraged to stay the night. 
  • the same person looks after the child (not different nurses + doctors)

What are 2 circumstances in which the maternal deprivation could occur?

  • The mother being imprisoned.
  • The mother working full time.
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