effects of insitutionalisation

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the spitz research

  • studied effects of privation in south american orphanages
  • nurses rarely interacted with children even at feeding times
  • suffered from anadictic depression characterised by apprehension, sadness, weepiness, sleep problems, refusing to eat
  • 1 third of children dies before their first birthday dispite good medical care


  • high ecological validity- looked at real orphans in real orphanages
  • low poulation validity- different orphanages may provide different care, so children may develop differently
  • research conducted between 1945 and 1952 and as care in orphanages may have improved over time the study may be out of date
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hodges and tizard

  • privation can be caused by policies ij orphanages which stop nurses from forming attachments with children
  • privation can be reversed by warm loving care
  • at 16, children who were privated were more likely to be bullies and not make friends

see link below for full study and evaluation


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widdowson study

  • studied a group of children who suffered from deprivation dwarfism
  • a change in diet didn't improve them but a change in supervisor did. the old supervisor was cruel but the new one was kind
  • this shows that good emotional care rather than physical care was the cause for their improvements


  • high ecological validity as it used a real life situation
  • low population validity as it only involved one orphanage so different orphanages many use care that effects children differently
  • good internal validity as the conclusions that emotional care can effect growth are valid asd the accounted for other variables such as a change in diet
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