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Describe And Critically Assess Research In To The Effects Of Deprivation On The Subsequent Development Of Children

2265 words - 10 pages

Describe and critically assess research in to the effects of deprivation on the subsequent development of children.Bowlby (1969) argued that maternal deprivation caused affectionless psychopathy: the inability to form meaningful interpersonal relationships in later life. However, the link between affectionless psychopathy and bond disruption is not wholly supported by later studies. Instead, it seems Bowlby's definition of 'deprivation' was too broader term, with his hypothesis relating to 'privation' instead. Rutter (1970) split the term 'deprivation' in to 'privation': lack of an attachment figure from the outset, and 'deprivation': loss or separation from the attachment figure with whom a ...view middle of the document...

Rutter suggested that it was the reason behind deprivation rather than deprivation itself, and the age at which the deprivation occurred that could cause problems.Rutter (1970) studied 9 to 12 year olds on the Isle of Wight and in London, and found that children could be well adjusted even if they had been separated from their mothers when young. He discovered that problems were more likely to be formed by family difficulties rather than separation itself. Cockett and Tripp (1994) supported this suggestion, arguing that children may be happier after divorce because the family rows before divorce may cause the most stress.Bifulco et al (1992) studied women who had experienced broken attachment with their mothers before the age of 17. All were twice as likely to have experienced depression than those who had not, but those whose mothers had died as opposed to simply leaving before the age of 6 were the most depressed. This study shows that the reasons for separation are important. However, Bifulco found that the most important factor of all was the quality of substitute care that was given after the attachment bond with the primary care giver was broken.Goldfarb (1943) studied children who were fostered or adopted after the age of 3 and a half years. They remained developmentally behind the control group who were fostered at around 6 months. This study emphasises the importance of age, suggesting that the effects of deprivation might not be reversed after the age of 3 and a half. Spitz (1945) found that children in hospitals and orphanages physically and mentally deteriorated when deprived for a long time. However, whilst these studies showed that maternal deprivation can lead to later problems, Goldfarb and Spitz et al later found that if the primary care giver returned within a reasonable timescale, affectionless psychopathy could be prevented.Robertson and Robertson (1968) studied ways of preventing adverse effects of deprivation. They observed 4 children, 1 boy stayed in hospital, another stayed in a residential nursery. 2 girls met the Robertsons with their parents, and then went to stay with them. This previous meeting reduced anxiety: the girls showed less distress at the separation than the boys. This study suggests that distress at separation comes from bond disruption, and quality of care is an extremely important factor.Daycare can also be considered as a form of deprivation. Bowlby's theory would suggest that daycare could lead to affectionless psychopathy. However, studies suggest that the effects of daycare depend on the quality of care and the stability of the arrangement because children make primary attachments and separation from the primary care giver can be substituted. Clarke and Stewart (1989) found that daycare could actually benefit infants, as they are likely to gain social skills, knowledge and self-confidence. However, they also found that following separation, children were likely to avoid mothers and be more...

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