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Discuss Research into the effects of Privation.

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Discuss Research into the effects of Privation One case examining the effects of extreme privation is that carried out by Jamila Koluchova in Czechoslovakia. In 1960 identical twins were born but their mother died soon afterwards and they spent the next 11 months in an institution, when they were 11/2 their father remarried and they returned home. However their step mother did not like them and they were forced to live in a small closet without light or adequate food. They were rarely visited and were not allowed to socialise with the rest of the family. When they were 6 the authorities became aware of their existence. They boys were found to be very small for their age and were suffering from vitamin deficiency; they were unable to talk and were terrified of things around them. The twins were removed from their family and placed in a children's home with children much younger than themselves. ...read more.


Furthermore the care the boys received from the sisters was above average this could have led to the rise in IQ. However the sisters also fostered another child, who although made great progress, did not completely recover from her privation and may have suffered brain damage from her early ill treatment. whereas the twins did seem to completely catch up with development which questions whether the effects of privation really can be overcome. Another study concerning the effects of privation is Curtiss (1977) who examined the case of 'Genie' a girl who was locked in a room before se was 2 years old. Genie was chained to a potty during the day and tied up in a sleeping bag at night. No one spoke to her, her father would bring her food but did not speak only growl at her.. Genie was found when she was 13 years old, she was severely undernourished, weighing just 59 lbs, she was only 4ft 6 inches talk and made few sounds. ...read more.


This evidence could be used to suggest an influence of the critical period to learn skills and abilities. However the twins that Koluchova studied were in an institutions for the first year of their lives so their abilities had been observed and were considered normal, whereas Genie had not been tested early in life so it is questionable to whether she had problems to begin with. Both of these studies show what a dramatic effect extreme neglect can have on a child, such as speech difficulties if language wasn't learnt during the critical period, brain defects due to the lack of early stimulation leading to low IQ. Physical defects such as dwarfism because of malnutrition, and social problems with forming relationships and attachments. It provides some evidence that there is a critical period for learning things such as language but maybe less so for walking. However each case of privation is unique therefore it is difficult to generalise and compare the effects of privation. - Ruth Higgins - ...read more.

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