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

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Introduction

´╗┐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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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