Disruption of attachment & Privation

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Disruption of attachment


  • Bowlbys theory of attachment suggests that attachment is essential for healthy social and emotional development. Therefore DISRUPTION of attachment might have a negative effect on social and emotional development.
  • Spitz & Wolf (1946) observed that 100 normal children who were placed in an institution became severly depressed within a few months.
  • Skeels & Dye (1939) found that similar children scored poorly on intelligence tests.
  • Negative effects of disruption may surface later in life- suffering from anxiety or depressive disorders when the children become adults. This suggests that early disruptions in attachment make an indiviudal psychologically more vunerable.
  • The cases of Jane, Lucy, Thomas & John:
  • Kate - mother was in hospital, so kate put into foster care. Dad encouraged to come and visit kate to keep an emotional bond. Kate was taken to visit her mother aswell. The children showed one sign of disrupted attachment and that was rejecting


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