maternal deprivation

HideShow resource information

Bowlby 44 theives

88 kids from London Child guidance clinic. 44 were juvenile theives and were refferred for stealing, 44 were controls and were refferred because of emotional problems.

The kids were assessed on arrival with interviews, case history and psychological testing. Mental tests were conducted on intelligence, as well as assessment of emotiobal attitudes towards the testing. 

Findings: 2 of 44 theives normal, 32%affectionless, 17 of 44 experienced long seperation of more than 6 months before 6 years only 2 in control, 86% affectionless had experienced deprivation

In control: no affectionless but depressed

Conclusion: maternal deprivation caused permanent emotional damage, deprivation leads to an affectionless character and potential for criminal behaviour.

ADDIDDAS (characteristics of maternal deprivation): aggression, delinquency, dwarfism, intellectual retardation, depression, dependency, affectionless, social maladjustment

1 of 7

Bowlby evaluation

Generalisability: case studies of individual children, may not be generalisable to other groups of children

Reliability: the control group Bowlby used also had problems

Validity: range of methods used to collect data

Data retrospective, children may have been innaccurate recalling events

2 of 7

Romanian orphan studies

Rutter: 165 Romanian orphans adpoted in Britain. Physical, emotional & cognitive development assessed at 4, 6, 11 & 15. 52 British adopted as control group.

Findings: At first half showed signs of mental retardation and majority were severely undernourished. At 11 showed differential rates of recovery that were related to their age of adoption. Mean IQ of children adopted before 6 months was 102, between 6 months & 2 years it was 86 and after 2 years it was 77

Children adopted after 6 months showed attachment style of disinhibited attachment. SYmptoms include: attention seeking, clinginess & social behaviour directed indiscriminately towards all adults.

3 of 7

Romanian orphan studies evaluation

Natural experiment is high in ecological validity

Longitudinal compared to themdelves over time

But with longitudinal studies not all see it through to end- attrition

Not very random, children who seem to have more social skills are likely to be the ones adopted

4 of 7

Internal working model

A child having their first relationship with their primary attachment figure forms a template for future relationships. 

The quality is crucial because it will powerfully affect their future relationships. A child with a good loving first relationship will assume this is how relationships are meant to be.

A child with a first bad experience will bring these into future relationships. They may struggle to form relationships in the first place or may behave inappropriately in them.

5 of 7

Influence of early attachment relationships on adu

Bowlby: later relationships are likely to be a continuation of early attachment styles because of the internal working model

Hazan and Shaver: The love quiz consisted of 2 components

  • measure of attachment type & love experience questionnaire

Printed in local newspaper, 620 responses, 14-82 yrs

Secure said relationships were happy and trusting, insecure resistant said they involve obsession, insecure avoidant said they feared intimacy

Findings: high correlation between infant attachment types and adult romantic love styles

Conclusion: there was evidence to support the internal working model having a life long effect

6 of 7

influence of early attachment evaluation

May not have been accurate with their recall or may have lied, so may be subject to volunteer bias

Other studies support love quiz Feeney & Noller found securely attached infants had most long term romantic relationships

Kagan noted that innate temperamental characteristics had impact on mother-infant relationship, this would also affect the individual throughout life including in romantic relationships

 They repeated the love quiz and again found strong evidence for the correlation of infant attachment type and adult love style

7 of 7


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Attachment resources »