Disruption of attachment: short-term effects

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  • Created by: em
  • Created on: 17-04-14 18:43

The study

Robertson and Bolwby (1952)

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To see what the short-term effects were of deprivation.

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Observed the behaviours of children placed in residential nurseries because their mothers had to be away. 

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The children showed 3 progressive reactions:

1. protest stage cried and called for mother

2. despair stage cried now and then & lost interest in surroundings

3. detachment stage appeared to recover & take more interest in surroundings but lost interest in mother when she returned 

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  • Young children should be taken away from mother as least as possible
  • If unavoidable the child's emotional/physical needs should be catered for
  • They should be prepared sensitively to help cope with separation e.g. meeting the people who will be looking after them
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