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Maternal Deprivation Essay

421 words - 2 pages

Maternal deprivation
Bowlby was a psychoanalyst; he came up with a theory for maternal deprivation. He used this theory to explain how a child would be effected if the emotional bond between the care giver and the infant was broken.
He also showed that if the attachment was damaged on a regular basis, the child could suffer with social, intellectual and emotional damage due to maternal deprivation.
This view is supported by Bowlby’s research, 44 Juvenile Thieves. Bowlby conducted a piece of research in which to find out if children were deprived of their mother during the critical period of attachment of the first few years of their ...view middle of the document...

In contrast only a small amount on the non-affectionless thieves had the same experiences. He concluded that disruption during the attachment stages was responsible for this.
However this research was argued by Michael Rutter, he suggested that Bowlby did not consider the differences between deprivation and privation and their different consequences. He also stated that Bowlby over simplified maternal deprivation.
Another piece of evidence done by Schaffer and Emerson also contradicts Bowlby’s work, because it shows that individual attachments only started to happen after 8 months and that other attachments could be made after this period.
Rutter also said that the components are different to Bowlby’s and that the children with maternal deprivation can be clingy and attention seeking, not emotionless and non-affectionate.
There is a piece of research that supports Bowlby’s theory and this is Harlow’s monkeys, this is because Harlow showed that monkeys isolated from their mothers did suffer with emotional problems later on in life.
In conclusion Bowlby has shown that it is important for the infant to have a primary attachment figure in their life and that this attachment can be greatly affected if not gone about the right way. In addition to this, it has been proven that maternal deprivation can be overcome if it is treated correctly. This contradicts Bowlby’s theory as he believes that children will grow up to be thieves if they are deprived.

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