Essay question; Can effect of maternal deprivation be overcome? Examine the two given case studies on google (case study 1: Genie and case study 2: Koluchova twins) Assess whether the effects of maternal deprivation can be overcome using the work of Developmental Psychologists. As ever please ensure that you have followed the conventions for academic writing and have referenced in the text and provided a full reference page at the end of the document. Essay criteria 1.1 Discuss research into an aspect of an early relationship, for example attachment, language. 1.2 With reference to research, discuss possible effects of early relationships on later behaviour. 2.1 Evaluate explanations of the development of individual differences, for example, the development of intelligence, personality or language. 2.2 Evaluate evidence in support of both sides of the nature/nurture debate relating to individual differences. Resources Cardwell, M., Clarke, L. & Meldrum, C. (2001) Psychology for A2 A Level. London: Harper Collins. Comer, R., Could, E. & Furnham, A. (2013) Psychology. London: Wiley. Eysenck, M. & Flanagan, C. (2001) Psychology for A2 Level. Sussex: Psychology Press Ltd. Feldman, R. (2013) Understanding Psychology (11th ed). New York: McGraw-Hill. Gross, R. (2009) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour, London: Hodder Arnold. Schacter, D., Gilbert, D. & Hood, B. (2014) Psychology. London: Palgrave Macmillian.
In subsequent experiments, Harlow’s monkeys proved that “better late than never” was not a slogan applicable to attachment. When Harlow placed his subjects in total isolation for the first eights months of life, denying them contact with other infants or with either type of surrogate mother, they were permanently damaged. Harlow and his colleagues repeated these experiments, subjecting infant monkeys to varied periods of motherlessness. They concluded that the impact of early maternal deprivation could be reversed in monkeys only if it had lasted less than 90 days, and estimated that the equivalent for humans was six months. After these critical periods, no amount of exposure to mothers or peers could alter the monkeys’ abnormal behaviors and make up for the emotional damage that had already occurred. When emotional bonds were first established was the key to whether they could be established at all.
A maternal substitute is sufficient, but the child must develop a primary relationship with one caregiver.
Bowlby tested his maternal deprivation hypothesis on a sample of 88 children who had been referred to a child guidance clinic.
Evidence from studies of separation have concluded that Bowlby's
concept of maternal deprivation is too vague, and tends to ignore the
influence of attachments other than those with the mother.
The findings were that 86% of the children diagnosed as affectionless psychopaths had experienced prolonged periods of separation from their mothers, only 17% of the other thieves had experienced separations from their mothers, and less than 4% of the non-thieves control group had experienced such separations.
As the chlldren with affectionless psychopathy had experienced most separations, Bowlby concluded that maternal deprivation does in fact lead to emotional and behavioural disorders, and in its most severe form it leads to antisocial behaviours such as theft.
Bowlby also formulated the Maternal Deprivation hypothesis (1953) which is associated with his theory of attachment and resulted from a study on delinquent boys....
Their emotional disturbances may not therefore be caused by there maternal separation but by other factors such as physical deprivation (lack of care for physical needs).
Maternal deprivation does not always lead to emotional disruption.
It seems that the emotional care the children received from adults in the home reduced the emotional deprivation experienced by children in the institution.
Much of the evidence used to support the maternal deprivation hypothesis comes from children who were deprived of many other things as well as a strong emotional bond with a mother or maternal figure.
The foster mother arranged for the children to visit their mothers in hospital regularly so that the emotional bond was maintained, and at the end of their stay they welcomed their mothers openly and warmly.
This research shows that maternal deprivation does seem to cause emotional difficulties for children, however it can be prevented by providing high quality substitute emotional care with a single substitute caregiver.
However it must be remembered that the findings are and therefore, although affectionless psychopathy and maternal deprivation are linked, maternal deprivation cannot be said to cause affectionless psychopathy.
The famous experiments that psychologist Harry Harlow conducted in the 1950s on maternal deprivation in rhesus monkeys were landmarks not only in primatology, but in the evolving science of attachment and loss. Harlow himself repeatedly compared his experimental subjects to children and press reports universally treated his findings as major statements about love and development in human beings. These monkey love experiments had powerful implications for any and all separations of mothers and infants, including adoption, as well as childrearing in general.
As well as the 'evidence' from ethological studies and psychoanalytic
theory, Bowlby also conducted his own studies of maternal deprivation,
notably his study on ‘forty-four juvenile thieves’.
I am convinced that various abnormal social and emotional behaviors resulting from what psychologists call 'maternal-social' deprivation, that is, a lack of tender, loving care, are caused by a unique type of sensory deprivation, deprivation.