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Outline and evaluate the effects of disruption of attachment

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Introduction

´╗┐Outline and evaluate the effects of disruption (44 Thieves) Disruptions in attachments are mainly caused by maternal deprivation, which is the failure to form an attachment or separation from the mother. A study that looked into the effects of disruption on attachment is Bowlby?s 44 juvenile thieves study in 1944. The aim of the 44 thieves study was to establish whether there was a cause and effect link between maternal deprivation and emotional maladjustment in later life. The group was an opportunity sample of 88 children, 44 of which were juvenile thieves and the other half controls, referred due to emotional problems. ...read more.

Middle

He also found that a further 86% of the thieves 0classed with affectionless psychopathy had suffered maternal deprivation before the age of 5, and that only 17% of the thieves had never suffered from maternal deprivation. He also found that none of the controls were classed as affectionless psychopaths. In conclusion, Bowlby stated that the 44 thieves study clearly showed that there was a link between maternal deprivation at a young age leading to emotional maladjustment in later life, and that if an attachment is broken it can cause irreversible negative effects. ...read more.

Conclusion

In addition, Bowlby?s study was also carried out using highly detailed case studies. Whilst these provided a rich source of detailed information, they were triangulated. This is dangerous as case studies are unique to the case/person being studied and therefore should not be generalized. Lastly, the 44 juvenile thieves study is also prone to a lot of researcher bias. Bowlby conducted all the psychiatric assessments himself and coined the term affectionless psychopathy. He also knew if the children belonged to the thief group or the controls, and so his findings may have been influenced by his expectations. It is likely that he wanted to prove that there was a link between maternal deprivation and emotional maladjustment. This would undermine the validity of the study. ...read more.

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