• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis

Extracts from this document...


Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis According to Bowlby's hypothesis, breaking the maternal bond with a child during the early years of its life is likely to have serious effects on its intellectual, social and emotional development. Bowlby also claimed that many of these negative effects were permanent and irreversible. To support his hypothesis, Bowlby carried out a study with juvenile thieves. He interviewed the children and their families, and gradually built up a record of their early life experiences. He found that some children had experienced "early and prolonged separation form their mothers", and also found that some of the children were emotionally and / or socially maladjusted. He also diagnosed the condition affectionless psychopathy in some of the children, which involves a lack of guilt and remorse. ...read more.


He also suggested that early maternal deprivation during the critical period in the formation of the attachment could have long lasting negative effects that were observable several years later. More support for Bowlby's views came from a piece of classic research conducted by Lorenz (1935). In this study, Lorenz became 'mother' to a brood of goslings. It was already known that many birds attach themselves to the first figure they see upon hatching and persist in this attachment, and Lorenz's work confirmed this. The phenomenon is called imprinting, an ethological concept taken from embryology. During pre-natal development, there are short periods when an individual is especially vulnerable. These times are called 'critical periods' and the effect is an imprint. ...read more.


Rutter et al. conducted a study of over 2000 boys aged between 9 and 12. They and their families were interviewed, and the relationship between separation and delinquency was looked at. It was found that if the separation was due to the physical illness or death of the mother, there was no correlation with delinquency. However, if it was due to psychiatric illness or discord within the family, then the boys were 4 times more likely to become delinquent. As well as this, in more recent studies of adopted children, Tizard has found that older children can form satisfactory new relationships with adults despite the lack of earlier attachment. ?? ?? ?? ?? Tessie Taylor 12 I ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Outline and evaluate Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis.

    so explaining the separation is only temporary is hard and also why the separation has had to occur. In this case, young children may believe they have been abandoned all together or that they are no longer loved etc. They also may feel that they themselves are to blame in some way - 'because I'm bad'.

  2. This assignment focuses upon Bowlby's (1951) Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis.

    maternally deprived children being less intelligent or suffering from "affectionless psychopathy" (i.e a complete lack of social conscience or social relationships). More support for Bowlby's views came from a classic piece of research conducted by Lorenz (1935). In 1937 Lorenz demonstrated that young geese would develop an attachment to a human being and would follow them around.

  1. Attachment and Separation.

    be, both groups rarely knew from the outset a child's length of stay in their homes" (p. 203). Urquhart did find two key differences between open and closed foster homes. The first emerged when she asked foster parents how well their agency prepared them for the separation and the grief they would feel at the end of a placement.

  2. It Has Been Suggested that one of the Main Assumptions of the Maternal Deprivation ...

    Out of the 44 'thieves', Bowlby classed 16 of these 'affectionless psychopaths'- a term given to those who had no guilt or shame (lacking a social conscience). The 88 children and their families were interviewed so that Bowlby could gain understanding of their early life experiences; such as the frequency

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work