Failure to Form Attachments - Privation

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  • Created by: tiacoles
  • Created on: 23-02-16 18:09

Maternal Privation is when a child has never had an attachment to it's mother or another caregiver. 

Privation means never forming a bond with a caregiver

Rutter claimed that the effects of maternal privation are more likely to be serious than the effects of maternal deprivation. Evidence for this comes from case studies of children who have suffered difficult conditions or cruel treatment. 

Curtiss - The Case of Genie

A case of a girl who suffered extreme cruelty from her parents, and never formed any attachments. Her father kept her strapped to a high chair with a potty in the seat for the most of her childhood. She was beaten if she made any sounds and didn't have a chance to play with toys or other children. She was finally discovered when she was 13 years old. She was physically under developed and could only speak with animal-like sounds. After a lot of help she later learned some language but her social and intellectual skills never seemed to fully develop.

Koluchova - The Case of the Czech Twins

This is the case of twin boys whose mother died soon after they were born. Their father remarried and their stepmother treated them cruelly. They were often kept locked in a cellar, beaten and had no toys. They were found when they were seven with rickets and very little social or intellectual development. They were later adopted and made lots of progress. By adulthood they had had above average intelligence and had normal social relationships. 

There are differences between the cases

  • The length of privation and how old the children were when they were discovered - the Czech twins were much younger than Genie, so still had time to develop in their new environment.
  • Their experiences during isolation - the twins were kept together, so they may have attached to each other.
  • The quality of care they recieved after isolation - the twins were kept together, so they may have attached to each other.
  • Individual differences, including the ability to recover. 

The evidence suggests that


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