Attachment

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Definition Deprivation / Bond disruption
When a child has formed an attachment but is then separated from the major attachment figure & bond broken- could occur when a parent dies or a divorce happens.
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Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis
Bowlby believed that emotional care was as important for development as physical care.
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Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis 2
Breaking the maternal bond with the child during early years likely to have serious effects on its intellectual, social & emotional development. - Child would have difficulty forming relationships with other people and would be at risk of devel
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Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis 3
- Effects were irreversible & permanent. - He went so far as to say that a child who is denied maternal care because of frequent and/or prolonged separation would become emotionally disturbed if this happens before the age of about 2.5 years
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AO2 Research support 44 thieves
▪ Used 88 clients (aged 5-16) from child guidance clinic. 44 of the children thieves. ▪ 14 of these thieves identified as affectionless psychopaths (no guilt). Other non-thieves were control group.
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AO2 Research support 44 thieves 2
▪ Bowlby interviewed the children & their families ▪ Found 86% of affectionless psychopaths had experienced maternal deprivation Only very few of the non-psychopath thieves (17%) and almost none of the controls had experienced such separation
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AO2 Contradictory research (Rutter’s Isle of Wight study)
 Rutter argued that Bowlby was incorrect- instead Rutter argued that it was the circumstances surrounding the maternal deprivation rather than the maternal deprivation itself caused later problems. He carried a study of young boys on Isle of Wight.
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Isle of Wight study
Over 2000 boys between the age of 9 & 11 were interviewed & their families. It was found that: ▪ if separation was due to physical illness/ death of the mother then there was no correlation with delinquency
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Isle of Wight Study 2
▪ if separation due to divorce then the boys were 4x more likely to become delinquent
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Isle of Wight Study Evaluation
If Bowlby was correct then both groups should have suffered delinquency as both suffered maternal deprivation but it was only the divorce group. This suggests that it is the circumstances surrounding the deprivation rather than the deprivation.
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Other evaluation advantage
Important applications- It gave rise to a positive change in infant care. - Orphanage care was improved to take account of emotional needs including trying to keep children in one foster home.
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Other evaluation advantage
Also provisions made for parents to stay in hospital with children & longer visiting hours allowed.
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Other evaluation disadvantage
Bowlby’s work has been criticised for being socially sensitive as it blames the mother for all the problems children may face in the future.
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Other evaluation disadvantage
, the research was done just after war time & during the war women had assumed male jobs. Some suggest that perhaps Bowlby’s theories were used to make women stay at home with their children to free up the workplace for the returning men.
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Definition privation – failure to form attachment
The situation where no attachment has been formed. This is most common where a child has been institutionalised e.g. in an orphanage
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Case study 1: Genie
She was locked in a room & strapped to a potty. Found when she was 13 ½ years old. At first seemed to learn words quickly but never learned grammar & cannot live independently. suggests the effects of early privation are permanent.
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Case study 2: Czech twins
Locked in cellar till 7- only contact with adults was when they were beaten. When they were found they couldn’t speak. They were adopted by loving sisters & by 14 were normal. By 20 had above average intelligence & excellent relationships.
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Evaluation (AO2) for case studies
These 2 case studies illustrate the problems of generalising from individual cases.
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Evaluation (AO2) for case studies 2
• Genie was much older when she was found • the twins had attached to each other • The twins were adopted into a loving family whereas Genie was studied by scientists and was fought over in law courts.
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Study of institutionalisation (Tizard & Hodges)
Longitudinal study following 65 children that had in care before they were 4 months old. Had an average of 50 caregivers by the time they were 4 years old. By age of 4 some adopted, 15 returned home & rest remained in care.
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Study of institutionalisation (Tizard & Hodges) 2
Children assessed at age 4, 8 & 16.
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Findings - Study of institutionalisation (Tizard & Hodges)
Most adopted children had formed close relationships with their adoptive parents. Less true of those that returned home. However, both adopted and restored children experienced problems at school.
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Findings - Study of institutionalisation (Tizard & Hodges) 2
Both groups more likely to seek adult attention & less likely than other children to have a special friend.
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Conclusion of study of institutionalisation (Tizard & Hodges)
This study shows that the effects of privation can be reversed but only if extra effort is put in to compensate for the early privation. e.g. for the adopted children they do well at home as extra effort is put in but not at school
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Evaluation (AO2)of studies of institutionalisation (criticism 1)
A problem with longitudinal studies like this is that people tend to drop out- called attrition. it is likely that particular types of people are more likely to drop out leading to a biased sample.
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Evaluation (AO2)of studies of institutionalisation (criticism 2)
This study is a quasi experiment  we cannot infer cause and effect. It is possible that the children selected for adoption were more socially able  this is a confounding variable that may explain the differences between groups rather than the IV
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Evaluation (AO2)of studies of institutionalisation (criticism 3)
 Finally, there are many uncontrolled variables. Institutional care involves more than just maternal deprivation- such children often suffer many other forms of deprivation e.g. poorer diet, lack of stimulation etc
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Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis

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Bowlby believed that emotional care was as important for development as physical care.

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Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis 2

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Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis 3

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AO2 Research support 44 thieves

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