• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Impact of Isolation in Infancy on Later Adult Development and Behaviour.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐THE IMPACT OF ISOLATION DURING INFANCY ON LATER ADULT DEVELOPMENT AND BEHAVIOUR Social , psychological and medical research has demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between the degree to which a person feels connected to others and their physical and mental health. The impact of isolation during infancy on later adult development and behavior can be evaluated through Bowlby?s attachment theory. The attachment relationship acts as a prototype for all future social relations , so disrupting it can have severe consequences. This paper has a look at the impact of maternal deprivation and the most severe consequence, namely reactive attachment disorder in order to emphasize the impact of isolation during infancy on later adult development and behavior. John Bowlby (1997) developed the theory of attachment that underscored the significance of the relationship between a primary care giver, usually the mother and her infant. Bowlby's theory of attachment was established upon evolutionary thinking. Infants are vulnerable and incapable of fending for themselves. Thus, the attachment process is designed to ensure the survival of the infant and, in turn, the species (Haugaard & Hazan, 2004). Given that an infant is well loved and its biological needs are reliably met, the child will learn to trust and feel secure with his caregiver, and a healthy attachment will be made This attachment will persistently influence one?s interpersonal relationship throughout life. There is a critical period for the development of attachments between infant and care giver. ...read more.


Reactive attachment disorder(RAD) is a relatively new diagnosis that is not well studied. Reactive Attachment Disorder is a developmental disorder resulting from either severe abuse and/or neglect of a child (Sheperis et.al.,2003). The core feature of reactive attachment disorder is inappropriate styles of relating to others. According to the DSM-IV the main feature of reactive attachment disorder is serious inappropriate social relating that begins before age 5( Zeanah et.al.,2004). Reactive attachment disorder is any disruption in the attachment process resulting in the child?s failure to form a secure attachment with a parental figure. Secure attachments form when s child?s physical and emotional needs are consistently met, especially during the first 3 years of life. The prevalence of reactive attachment disorder is unclear. Attachment disorders are commonly misconstrued and under-diagnosed. The symptoms begin early and they often become pervasive throughout life; the disorder may bear a resemblance to many others by the time they are recognized( Smyke, Dumitrescu & Zeanah,2002). The DSM-IV distinguishes between two forms of reactive attachment disorder. The inhibited type is characterized by a failure to suitably initiate and respond to social interactions. These children may have a propensity toward avoidance behaviors. Zeanah, Smyke, & Dumitrescu, (2002) describe children with the inhibited type as lacking the propensity to initiate or respond suitably during social interactions. They may be hyper vigilant or highly ambivalent. The disinherited type is more closely associated with social promiscuity. ...read more.


Little attention has been paid in all above mentioned studies to sex differences in response to privation. Further research should also be carried out on children of immigrant parents, in order to assess their degree of reactive attachment disorder. REFERENCE LIST Bowlby, J. (1997). Attachment. London: Pimlico. Brinkman, A. (2003). Savage girls and wild boys: A history of feral children. New York: Media Source. Gail Hornor, RNC, MS,CPNP.(2008). Reactive Attachment Disorder. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 22, 234-239. doi:10.1016/j.pedhc.2007.07.003 Haugaard, J. J., & Hazan, C. (2004). Recognizing and treating uncommon behavioral and emotional disorders in children and adolescents who have been severely maltreated: Reactive attachment disorder. Child Maltreatment, 9(2), 154-160. doi:10.1177/1077559504264316 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-26684637 , France inquiry after Paris children found 'living wild'. Nichols, T., Chaffin, M., Berliner, L., Egeland, B., Zeanah, C., Lyon, T., . . . Miller-Perrin, C. (2006). Report of the APSAC task force on attachment therapy, reactive attachment disorder, and attachment problems. Child Maltreatment, 11(1), 76-89. doi:10.1177/1077559505283699 Rutter, M. (1981). Maternal deprivation reassessed. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Sheperis, C. J., Doggett, R. A., Hoda, N. E., Blanchard, T., Renfro-Michel, E. L., Holdiness, S. H., & Schlagheck, R. (2003). The development of an assessment protocol for reactive attachment disorder. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 25(4), 291. doi 1040-2861, 0193-1830 Smyke A.T., A. Dumitrescu, C.H. Zeanah (2002). Disturbances of attachment in young children: I. The continuum of caretaking casualty. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41 (2002), 972?982. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60089-5 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Developmental Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Developmental Psychology essays

  1. Is the attachment bond during infancy crucial to later outcomes?

    (Ainsworth et al., 1978; DeWolff & van Ijzendoorn, 1997; Posada et al., 1999 - as cited in Waters, Hamilton et al., 2000). Stability in attachment patterns While developmentalists cannot say that early experience is not important, they also cannot say that it "guarantees long-term developmental outcomes or inoculates against subsequent

  2. Self-Report Measurement of Adult Attachment: An Integrative Overview.

    reduced exploration in episode 7, when the solitary infant was joined by a stranger. ---------------------------------------------- Insert Table 1 and Figure 1 about here ---------------------------------------------- Figure 1 indicates that, right from the start, Ainsworth's three major attachment "types" could be conceptualized as regions in a two-dimensional space, the dimensions being Avoidance (discomfort with closeness and dependency)

  1. A qualitative study exploring how adult perceptions of significant others in their lives have ...

    However, it is possible these findings are over-generalised patterns of particular cultures (Shaffer; as cited in Wood et al., 2002, p.19). Research has focused almost exclusively on infant-mother relationships and ignored male influences. This study aimed to address this, using thematic analysis of a filmed semi structured interview and transcript, the interviewee's viewpoint was explored.

  2. Free essay

    Discuss, with reference to appropriate experimental studies, the development of gross motor skills in ...

    What makes this reflex more compelling is the fact that it disappears after the first 2 months. It was previously thought that this is due to neurological maturation. Mcgraw (1940) claimed that cortical maturation suppresses the stepping reflex, but myelinisation of the corticospinal tract causes reappearance at 8 months.

  1. Is Bowlbys (1951) theory of attachment still relevant in understanding how to support and ...

    Instead the critical role early experience often plays is hoisted on a surrounding context of sustaining environmental supports (Sroufe et al., 1999) that are represented largely by the quality of mother-infant interaction forming an attachment pattern such as could be classifiable as secure, insecure/avoidant, insecure/ambivalent (Ainsworth, 1978 in Kelly and Lamb, 2001)

  2. Within the field of Developmental Psychology, researchers continue to evaluate the significance of early ...

    He examined the early experiences of 88 children, half of whom had behavioural problems and criminal convictions for theft, and the other half who were emotionally disturbed, but had no criminal record.

  1. The impact of early secure attachment on relationships

    but early childhood attachment, family context and other social experiences may shape a person in such a way that certain developmental pathways are more likely to be followed than others (Lee et al, 2009). Research has suggested that if a child is exposed to insecure attachments with their primary caregiver

  2. The Impact of Early Childhood Trauma on Brain, Behavior, and Child Development

    I gained some valuable insight to the neurological and regulatory disturbances associated with these disorders. Among the most interesting I learned many of these disorders (1 in 4) are correlated with toxic prenatal exposures (i.e., alcohol, smoking, pesticides, poor nutrition, obesity, heavy metals)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work