Let me know what you think this may get out of 16 arks. I did it in 16 minutes. Any criticism is great appreciated.
Describe and evaluate Bowlby theory of maternal deprivation (16 marks)
Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory says that a baby experiences maternal deprivation if they lose or don’t have a caregiver during the critical period (the first 2.5 years of a baby's life). According to Boiwby, the effects of maternal deprivation are long lasting and irreversible and lead to impaired cognitive symptoms (low IQ, poor memory), impaired behavioural symptoms (delinquency) and imapied emotional symptoms (difficulty expressing emotions). Bowlby also says that deprivation for a short period of time leads to long lasting, irreversible psychological damage and devised the PDD (protest, despair and detachment) as a way to observe short term separation.
Support for Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory comes from Bowlby’s 44 thieves study. Bowlby compared a group of 44 thieves to a control group of 44 non thieves to investigate the effects of maternal deprivation. Bowlby created questionnaires and provided both sets of participants with it. Bowlby found that 50% of the 44 thieves had experienced maternal deprivation compared to only 5% of the control group. Bowlby also found that 32% of the 44 thieves were affectionless psychopaths, with 86% of them experiencing maternal deprivation. Bowlby concluded there is an association between maternal deprivation and delinquency and affectionless psychopathy.
Support for Bowlby’s short term separation model comes from the case study conducted on 17 month old little Albert. Bowlby and Robertson conducted a case study on Albert who had been placed in care for 9 days while his mother was in hospital. Bowlby and Robertson observed that little Albert went through all 3 stages of the PDD model (protest, despair, detachment). They also found that Albert refused to show care to his mother after he was reunited several months later. This is significant as it provides clear support for the idea that short term separation leads to long lasting psychological damage, however it was a case study so the result may not generalise due to the small sample size.
A weakness of Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory is that Koluchova found the effects can be reversed. Koluchova conducted a case study on two boys who experienced severe maternal deprivation up until 7. According to Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory, the boys should show imapired psychological damage. However, Koluchpova found that both boys recovered and had above average IQ, good jobs and happy relationships. This is a weakness as it provides a direct contradiction to Bowlby’s theory that maternal deprivation is irreversible.
A weakness of Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory is that the theory confuses privation and deprivation. Rutter criticised Bowlby for confusing deprivation (having a caregiver and losing them during the critical period) and privation (never having a caregiver). Rutter argued privation is worse than deprivation as children who experience deprivation at least had a caregiver a tone point. This is a weakness as it suggests that Bowlby’s maternal deprivation theory may be oversimplified and fails to consider the different nuances within different types of attachment. This means we can't be sure the explanation measures and explains what it claims to measure and as a result may lack validity.