Studies in detail- Child Psychology. Bowlby (1946) Genie (1977)

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  • Created by: Hannah
  • Created on: 13-01-11 16:36

Studies in detail:

Bowlby (1946) '44 Juvinile Thieves':

Aim: To see if affectionless psychopathy was linked to early deprivation


  • 44 teenage boy criminal offenders were referred to the CGC where Bowlby worked
  • Bowlby interviewed them to see whether they showed signs of affectionless psychopathy. (a.p.)
  • the characteristics of a.p. were operationalised- showing little affection towards others, lack or guilt or shame for their actions and lack of empathy
  • Bowlby interviewed the families of the boys to see whether the boys had suffered short-term deprivation in the first 2 years
  • Bowlby then matched up those that were a.p with those who had suffered deprivation
  • a control group of no-delinquent young people was established to see how common deprivation was in no-dilinquent individuals


  • of the 44, 14 were identified as a.p
  • 12 out of 14 had experienced maternal deprivation
  • 5 out of 30 had experienced maternal dep. but were not a.p.
  • of the 44 in the control group, 2 had experienced maternal dep.


  • seperation from the mother in the first two years of childhood, leads to a.p


+ supports Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis and Freud's psychodynamic approach

+ fairly generalisable due to the sample of 44 plus the 44 in the control group but not a range of ages so cannot generalise to the wider population.

+ control group means the results are more valid as there was a baseline to compare the offenders to.

+ Application- shows the importance of early childhood so helps parents to be better parents

-Bowlby conducted the interviews himself so experimentor biased may have occured

- family may not have told the truth in interviews as they did not want to look like bad parents

- not an experiment and is a correlational study so no true cause and effect relationship established

- there may have been other variables which lead to a.p such as family reordering or family conflict.

Curtiss (1977) Genie- a case if extreme privation

Aim: To help the feral child, Genie and to see whether a child of 13 could learn language. Also to see if privation is reversable


  • born in L.A in 1957
  • Genie was told she may be retarded…




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This is a really good resource! 

Clearly laid out and doesn't waffle :] 

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