Disruption of attachment bowlby - long term disruption

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  • 1. The effects of: disruption of attachment failure to form attachment (privation) institutional care

2. Prolonged deprivation of a young child of maternal care may have grave and far-reaching effects on his character similar in form to deprivation of vitamins in infancy. Bowlby (1953) 3. Based on Bowlbys ideas: Attachment is essential for healthy development Must occur within sensitive period Predicts developmental difficulty if the attachment relationship goes wrong: General developmental problems Specific issues with social development 4. Spitz (1945) Children in orphanages Found signs of anaclitic depression: apathy, withdrawal, helplessness, low appetite Survival rates of children raised in prison were better than those raised in orphanages 5. Spitz & Wolf (1946) 100 psychologically normal children in long-term hospital care Most showed signs of depression Recovered quickly if period of hospitalisation was less than 3 months 6. Aim To test the MDH by comparing a group of thieves to another group of children to see if the thieves had experienced early separations from their caregiver. Procedure the children and their parents were interviewed by Bowlby. Information was collected about their early life experiences. Disruption of Attachment (long-term) - Bowlby 1944 7. Findings 88 emotionally maladjusted 5-16y olds 44 thieves 44 controls 16 28 Affectionless not Psychopaths 86% 17% 4% had frequent early separations from mother Bowlby 1944 What did he conclude? 8. Lack of moral constraints on behaviour Inability to form relationships with others Delinquent or criminal behaviour 9. Evaluation Information was collected retrospectively -it is likely that such recall was not accurate lack of internal validity People often do not answer an interviewers question truthfully the parents may have wanted to present themselves in a better light (social desirability bias) lack of validity. Bowlby was biased in his observations too. Used correlation, so we cannot say that early separations were the cause of the behaviour, we can only say they are linked might be vice versa. Bowlby 1944 10. So... Separation = a physical separation from caregiver, where alternative emotional care is substituted No long-term problems Deprivation = a loss of emotional care that accompanies separation from the caregiver, occurring when no (or inadequate) alternative emotional care is offered emotional maladjustment But... 11. Deprivation an attachment forms but is then discontinued whereas Privation no opportunity is given for attachments to form