· When a child has never had the opportunity to form an attachment with a caregiver (for example: if the mother dies during childbirth)
Koluchová – Czech twins.
- Reported a case of tin Czechoslovakian boys, Andrei and Vanya, who lost their mother shortly after they were born.
- After her death, they were placed in an institution for a year, then in care of an aunt, before finally returning to their father and stepmother at 18 months.
- Their stepmother regularly beat them and locked them in a small dark room.
- The twins were found at the age of 6- mentally retarded, scared, severely undernourished with little speech.
- They went to a children’s home. After 2 years of rehabilitation, they were fostered by 2 sisters who provided excellent care.
- When they were found, it was estimated that their IQ was around 40, although no tests to verify this because of their poor development.
- By the age of 11, the boys had developed normal speech for their age, and by 14 had a normal IQ.
- At 20, the boys were in relationships and were working.
- The intensive loving care provided by the sisters had reversed the effects of privation for Andrei and Vanya.
It was known that the twins were normal in their development when they were left in the care of their aunt at the age of 18 months. Therefore, when they said they were later found to be severely behind in their development, this could be said to be because of the privation they experienced.
There was a normal baseline against which to measure their lack of progress.
The boys had each other and so could attach to each other, which may have been why they were able to catch up, develop normally and shake of the effects of privation.
This was a case study, so a great deal of information was gathered using different methods, such as IQ testing, interviewing and observing. The depth and detail of the study suggests the data are valid about the twins’ real experiences.
They would have formed an attachment wit their aunt and perhaps others in the social agency, so they may have been deprived rather than privated.
The study was longitudinal and so the development of the twins could be tracked over many years, which helps when drawing conclusions about whether privation is reversible.
It is known the twins married and had children, whereas a much shorter study would not have documented any later developments.
It can never be completely known what life is like for the boys as adults, and they may not be happy and well adjusted.