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Discuss research into the disruption of attachments.

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´╗┐Discuss research into the disruption of attachments. (12 marks) According to Bowlby, if an infant experiences disruption to an attachment then it would suffer both emotionally and socially later in life. This is called the maternal deprivation hypothesis. Bowlby supported his theory with his research on juvenile delinquents. He found that of the juvenile thieves reported to be `affectionless psychopaths` 86% had experienced early attachment disruption. For Bowlby, this was evidence that early disruption can lead to later problems. ...read more.


They all suffered attachment disruption but Freud and Dann reported that they had no social/emotional problems later in life. According to Stovall and Dozier being placed in foster care means that children experience a serious disruption to their attachment relationships, and that this kind of separation can lead to a variety of problems, such as withdrawal and depression. The age at which fostering occurs appears crucial. This is supported by Tyrell and Dozier. They interviewed foster parents about attachment-related difficulties and found that, although there were some problems with children placed after 6 months, the greatest problems were reported with children placed after 12 months. ...read more.


This attachment disruption should cause greater problems in pre-term than full-term infants. This is supported by Plunkett et al who found a higher percentage of insecure attachments in pre-term infants compared to full-term infants. This is further supported by Minde who found that many pre-term infants assessed as securely attached at 12 months were reassessed as disorganised at 4 years. Such studies however have methodological problems, for example the reason for premature birth or developmental `lag` are not taken into consideration. According to Goldberg, when these factors are considered there is no clear evidence of any long-term attachment problem. ...read more.

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