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Disruption of attachment. Bowlbys MDH has suggested that attachment is essential for healthy social and emotional development. It therefore follows that disruption of attachment might have negative effects on emotional and social development.

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Disruption of attachment Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis Bowlby's MDH has suggested that attachment is essential for healthy social and emotional development. It therefore follows that disruption of attachment might have negative effects on emotional and social development. This disruption may occur when an infant is separated from their attachment figure. Continuity The hypothesis focuses on the importance of continuous relationships between child and mother. Discontinuous relationships become unstable and less predictable, which disrupts the development of the relationship. Continuity before and beyond critical period Development must occur in the critical period. If a child experiences too many separations before the age of 2 1/2 years it's likely that the child will become emotionally disturbed. Key study - a study of 44 juvenile thieves Bowlby (1944) Aim To see whether frequent early separations were associated with a risk of behavioural disorders, in particular, affectionless psychopathy. ...read more.


The data on separation were collected retrospectively so it might not be reliable. Parents may not accurately recall separation. They may have over/under estimated the frequency. Separation In the 1930s and 1940s psychologists studied children who had experienced prolonged separations from their families. They observed that these children were often disturbed and lacking in intelligence. Effects of physical separation * Spitz and wolf (1946) observed 100 normal children placed in an institution become severely depressed within a few months * Skeels and dye (1939) found similar children scored poorly on intelligence tests * These effects were quite a surprise because before these studies no one really thought about the effects of separation on infants and children * It was assumed that a good standard of physical care was all that would be required when infants and children were separated from attachment figures. Components of distress Bowlby (1969) ...read more.


John became withdrawn and when his mother came back he pushed her away and had outbursts of anger towards her. Jane: 17 months - 10 days in foster care Jane spent 10 days in foster care, in the Robertson's home. Food and routine was kept similar to her home routine, her father visited every day and foster mother was fully available. The first few days she showed signs of separation anxiety by being impatient and not wanting to be held but she slept and ate well and warmed to the family. Jane's reunion with her mother was easy. They concluded that short term separation had serious effects on john with possible permanent damage to his mother. They found child's ability to cope with separation if effected by age, level of maturity, parent-child relationship and quality of substitute care. Effects of separation are minimalized if a child is introduced to the new environment before separation and that the child's routine is kept similar to the one at home. ...read more.

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