Key Study - Hodges and Tizard
- Followed 65 British chidren from birth to adolescence who had been placed in institutional care when they were younger than 4 months old and had not yet formed attachments.
- The caretakers in the institution were forbidden from forming attachments with the children.
- The children who were 'restored' to their families were less likely to have formed attachments with their mothers.
- The adopted children were as closely attached to their parents as they were to 'normal' children in the control group.
- All children who had been in an institution had problems with peers.
- They were less likely to have friends and be liked, but were more likely to be bullies.
- Early privation has a negative irreverisble effect on future relationships.
- Supports Bowlby's sensitive period idea.
Romanian Orphanages - Rutter et al
- Studied a group of 100 Romanian orphans and assessed them when they were 4, 6, and 11.
- Children who were adopted by British parents before they were 6 months had 'normal' development when compared to adopted children from the UK at the same age.
- Many Romanian children who were adopted after 6 months showed disinhabited attachments and had problems with peers.
- Long-term consequences may be less severe if children have the opportunity to form attachments.
- When children do not form attachments the consequences are more severe.
"when some children experience disruptions of early attachments this affects their social and emotional development."
There are two kinds of attachment disorder:
reactive/inhibited - shy and withdrawn, unable to cope with social situations.
disinhibited - over-friendly and attention seeking.
Children with attachment disorder have:
no preffered attachment figure
an inability to interact and relate to others (this is evident before the age of 5)
experience of severe neglect of frequent change of caregiver
Evaluation - Poor Parenting | Deprivation Dwarfism
- Quinton et al
- Compared 50 women who had grown up in institutions to 50 women who had grown up at home.
- The women who had been in institutions had extreme difficulties acting as parents.
- More of these women had children that had spent time in care compared to those who hadn't been institutionalised.
- Lack of emotional care is the cause of 'dwarfism'.
- Case study of a malformed girl who wasn't nurtured by her mother. She was physically stunted when she was 8 months old.
- Suggests that emotional disturbance may affect the production of hormones. This would explain the link between disruption of attachment and dwarfism.
Evaluation - Factors, Rejection, Long-Term Effects
Only one factor:
- One-third of the Romanian orphans recovered well so not all children are unable to recover from failing to form attachments during the sensitive period.
- Privation alone cannot explain the negative outcomes.
- Turner and Lloyd: it is more likely that damage only occurs when there are multiple factors (e.g. poor subsequent care or insecure attachment).
Privation or rejection?:
- We cannot be sure that the children studied failed to form attachments.
- Could be possible that later problems are caused by other factors such as feeling rejected.
- Cannot be sure to what extent the negative effects continued into adult life.
- Romanian study: last assessment was at 11 years old.
- Hodges and Tizard: not possible to get a large enough group of the children back
- Could be that ex-institutional children need more time to mature and learn about relationships. They may be able to eventually recover if they have the right kind of care.