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Critical Discussion of Bowlby

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Introduction

Critical discussion & Evaluation of Bowlby's views on the effects of maternal deprivation By Kendra Pinder Bowlby's theory of "Maternal deprivation" was founded on the hypothesis, that if a child is detached on a physical and emotional level from its primary carer. (In this case the mother) that this will have long term affects emotionally for that child. This detachment according to Bowlby would see an increase in disruptive and deviant behaviour, as well as a detachment between themselves and their children in the future, even going as far as to suggest that a child that is affected by the detachment of its mother, could possibly child grow into an" affectionless psychopath" lacking any social conscience. Bowlby's foundation for his theory was based on the research of a group of children who had been referred to his clinic for stealing (juvenile thieves), according to Bowlby's research of this group, he found that 32% of them were indeed lacking any conscious understanding or empathy towards the society in which they inhabited and was part of. ...read more.

Middle

Also attempting to bring touch of home into the wards, such as d�cor, toys and so on. Orphanages and children homes also followed suit downsizing the amount of children in one home and increasing the staff to child ratio. The judicial system and children's welfare also took on board much of Bowlby's theory, when deliberating on a child's welfare when in an abusive home. Not only was the child's physical health taken on board but also emotional health also. In some cases children would be allowed to stay within the home, but the families would work with the children's welfare to encourage better parenting, and to find ways to work with the abusers to halt the abuse. Apart from the latter, Bowlby's theory added to his research did hold much weight, and certainly seemed to have changed things for the better for child care within this country and across the globe in many respects. Bowlby's theory of maternal deprivation though has had many criticisms from many academics, academics such as Sir Michael Rutter suggested that seperation was infact a very complex and diverse subject, and through research and study of children who were seperated ...read more.

Conclusion

To Bowlby ,just the same as Freud,it certainly does seem as though what is broken can never be fixed. Research since then done by academics such as rutter have been able to refute Bowlbys theory to varying degrees.Bowlby very much focuses on the mother within a childs life,and does not seem to take into consideration other family members and caregivers. This it would seem also leads to much critisism of his theory. The conclusion it would seem, would be to certainly take on board Bowlbys theory,but also to apply others thoughts and findings within the childrens psychology. We as a society could very easily be dismissing the strengths and advantegs that others within a childs life. Also by understanding what the primary carer for a child would normally provide, this allows us to gauge what a child does infact need in its life. Whether the mother is there or not,by understanding what another ideally should be providing for a child, an individual or many individauls can tale on the role as wholly the primary carer, or segments of that role. ...read more.

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