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What does the research on privation suggest its effects on the child are?

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Introduction

What does the research on privation suggest its effects on the child are? The definition of privation is; "the lack of any attachments as distinct from the loss of attachments". Some psychologists have assumed that all experiences of deprivation were the same however there are some key differences, and in conclusion Rutter explained the main difference between deprivation and privation was that; Deprivation occurs when a child has already formed an attachment and is then and is then taken away from them, In contrast; Privation occurs when a child has never formed an important attachment. Many psychologists have done different research into the effects of privation, some support the idea that children can recover from early privation, others say they can't. Bowlby has stated that without an early attachment, a child will never be able to attach later on in life, so you would expect this to have an adverse effect on future relationships. Bowlby (1964) did a study on juveniles who had been separated from their mothers at an early age and showed that those showing signs of affectionless psychopathy (for example, an inability to experience guilt) ...read more.

Middle

They followed a group of 65 children who had been taken into care before they were 4 months old. Before the age of four they had many different carers and so were unable to form any strong bonds but still had a mean IQ of 105 at the age 4 1/2 which shows that their cognitive development was unaffected by maternal deprivation. By the age of four, 24 children had been adopted, 15 had returned to their biological parents and the rest stayed in the institution. In later stages of the children's lives (8 and 16) it was found that most of the adopted children had formed strong bonds with their adopted parents, however this was less true for the children who had returned home. This is thought to be because the biological parents might not be as loving and caring for the children as the adopted ones. Bowlby stated that a bad home was better than a good institution, this research shows otherwise. ...read more.

Conclusion

Freud and Dann (1951) provided evidence that children who form strong attachments with each other, can avoid long-term damage from privation. They studied six young children who were liberated from a concentration camp at the end of world war two. Before the age of three they were very badly treated, and viewed distressing experiences such as hangings. After leaving the camp they were flown to England and were found to not have yet developed speech, were badly underweight and showed great hostility towards adults. However they were greatly attached to each other and became very upset when they were separated even for just a few moments. As time went by the children became very attached to their adult carers, developed rapidly at social and language skills and its is hard to say whether there early experiences have had any long-term effects. In conclusion, the majority of evidence suggests that early experiences of deprivation and privation can be reversed, and that children are more resilient than Bowlby first believed. However we must take into account the fact that these studies are all very small (except for Tizard's longitudinal study) and it may be hard to generalise them. ...read more.

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