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"Some children recover well from privation, but others hardly recover at all". Outline research into the effects of privation and consider the extent to which the effects of privation can be reversed

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Introduction

"Some children recover well from privation, but others hardly recover at all". Outline research into the effects of privation and consider the extent to which the effects of privation can be reversed. Hodges and Tizard conducted a study on the effects of privation, in which they aimed to investigate the permanence of the long-term effects of privation due to institutionalisation. It was a longitudinal study with 65 participants and a control group, using a matched pairs design. The participants had all been institutionalised before the age of four months, and none of them had made attachments, therefore privation had happened. Hodges and Tizard found that the 24 participants who had been adopted before the age of 4 formed attachments and were emotionally fine. They recovered better from privation and formed closer attachments than those 15 participants who had been placed back in their homes with their parents. However, both those who had been adopted and those who had been restored showed difficulty forming relationships with peers and often were attention-seeking at school. ...read more.

Middle

They were often beaten and were barely able to talk and therefore relied on gestures. At the age of 9, the twins were fostered by two loving sisters (which meant they stayed in close contact) and by 14, their behaviour was completely normal. By age 20, their intelligence was above average and they had excellent relationships with their foster family. This study suggests that there is complete reversibility from privation. However, a criticism of this is that when the twins were locked in the cellar they had each other, and it is possible that they made good attachments with each other and therefore that's how they may have been able to avoid the harmful effects of privation. Also, the study doesn't say why the twins were locked up, and the reason for this may have affected the results of how the twins recovered, e.g. they could have been mentally impaired. In 1951, Freud and Dann recorded a case study on 6 war orphans whose mother had been killed in the concentration camps when they were only a few months old. ...read more.

Conclusion

When she was found, she had not been fed properly, could not stand properly, had no social skills and could not communicate because she never learnt how to. She was educated and improved on perceptual skills but she never learnt to speak properly. She spoke in short, ungrammatical sentences and seemed very uninterested in people. This study shows very little reversibility, and suggests that the effects of privation are permanent. However, like the war orphans and the identical twins studies, this study is of one individual and what happened does not happen often. Therefore the results cannot be generalised to the whole of the population. In conclusion, the findings of studies into the effects of privation are very mixed. Hodges and Tizard found that the children recovered in emotional aspects but not socially, whereas studies into more than one individual who had close contact suggested that they recovered completely, although this could be due to the fact that they could have formed close attachments with each other. Lastly, the study of Genie suggests that the effects of privation are long-lasting. Therefore the effects of privation are not clear. ...read more.

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Response to the question

Response to Question: The writer provides a good response to the question by giving a range of research that argues both for and against the reversal of privation. This is good as it shows the student has considered both sides ...

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Response to the question

Response to Question: The writer provides a good response to the question by giving a range of research that argues both for and against the reversal of privation. This is good as it shows the student has considered both sides of the argument, without an initial bias. Each study has a detailed explanation of what was occurred, what conclusions were drawn and why. In criticism, I would suggest adding a short sentence following each piece of research to link back to the question. For example ‘Therefore, research from the Koluchova twins supports the idea that privation is reversible, however the criticisms of this study must be taken into consideration’. This makes it more clear which pieces of evidence are supporting which side of the argument.

Level of analysis

Level of Analysis: A good amount of critical analysis is given – each piece of research is explained thoroughly and then evaluated. For example ‘Curtiss in 1989 conducted a case study of Genie, a girl who was locked in a room for 13.5 years and had little contact with anyone…’ (description) followed by ‘However, like the war orphans and the identical twins studies, this study is of one individual and what happened does not happen often. Therefore the results cannot be generalised to the whole of the population.’ (evaluation). This demonstrates that the writer can think analytically without simply taking research for its face-value. To add, an appropriate conclusion is reached which follows suit with the supporting and disputing research given (the writer concludes that there is conflicting evidence and therefore the reversibility of privation is unknown as of yet). This is important because it makes the student’s opinion of the argument clear.

Quality of writing

Quality of Writing: There are no problems with spelling or grammar however it would be good to see more connectives used between paragraphs as this would make the essay flow more naturally (for example, ‘similarly, evidence from X also shows…’ or ‘nevertheless…’). Also, an introduction would raise the standard of the essay – the writer could define and describe privation and then quickly outline which types of research will be examined in the essay.


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Reviewed by danielle-dansmell 09/03/2012

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