Bowlby designed and conducted the experiment himself. Although Bowlby may not dispute that young children form multiple attachments, he still contends that the attachment to the mother is unique in that it is the first to appear and remains the strongest of all. Particularly as he was responsible for making the diagnosis of affectionless psychopathy. Michael Rutter argued that if a child fails to develop an emotional bond , this is privation , whereas deprivation refers to the loss of or damage to an attachment. Lorenz showed that attachment was innate in young ducklings and therefore has a survival value. Only 2 of the control group had experienced a prolonged separation in their first 5 years.

Patterns of attachment in two-and three-year-olds in normal families and families with parental depression. Bowlby designed and conducted the experiment himself. The development of affective responsiveness in infant monkeys. Deprivation can be avoided if there is good emotional care after separation. Bowlby did not take into account the quality of the substitute care. Rutter stresses that the quality of the attachment bond is the most important factor, rather than just deprivation in the critical period.

John Bowlby | Maternal Deprivation Theory | Simply Psychology

How to reference this article: Rutter stresses that the quality of the attachment bond is the most important factor, rather than just deprivation in the critical period. As he believed the mother to be the most central care giver and that this care should be given on a continuous basis an obvious implication thjeves that mothers should not go out to work.

Their characters and home life. According to the Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis, breaking the maternal bond with the child during the early stages of its life is likely to have serious effects on its intellectual, social and emotional development.


The long-term consequences of maternal deprivation might include the following: Maternal care and mental health. John Bowlby believed that the relationship between the infant and its mother during the first five years of life was most crucial to socialization. Babies are born with the tendency to display certain innate behaviors called social releasers which help ensure proximity and contact with the mother or attachment figure e.

None of the control group were affectionless psychopaths. Robertson and Bowlby believe that short-term separation from an attachment figure leads to distress i.

bowlby 44 thieves case study

This may have lead to experimenter bias. However, on both of these counts, the evidence seems to suggest otherwise.

bowlby 44 thieves case study

Mourning or early inadequate care? Consequently, his findings may have unconsciously influenced by his own expectations. To test his hypothesis, he studied 44 adolescent juvenile delinquents in a child guidance clinic.

This meant thisves Bowlby was asking the participants to look back and recall separations.

bowlby 44 thieves case study

Child and sibling caretaking. Bowlby hypothesized that both infants and mothers have evolved a biological need to stay in contact with each other. Essentially, Bowlby suggested that the nature of monotropy attachment conceptualized as being a vital and close bond with just one attachment figure meant that a failure to initiate, or a breakdown of, the maternal attachment would lead to serious negative consequences, possibly including affectionless psychopathy.

Stress, coping and development: The child cries, screams and protests angrily when the parent leaves. Another criticism of the 44 thieves study was that it concluded affectionless psychopathy was caused by maternal deprivation. A child should receive the continuous care of this single most important attachment figure for approximately the first two years of life. Attachment and the regulation of the right brain. Bowlby believed that attachment behaviors are instinctive and will be activated by any conditions that seem to threaten the achievement of proximity, such as separation, insecurity, and fear.


They will reject the caregiver on their return and show strong signs of anger.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

A two-year-old goes to hospital. Bowlby claimed that mothering is almost useless if delayed until after two and a half to three years and, for most children, if delayed till after 12 months, i. Bowlby used the term ‘maternal deprivation’ to refer to separation from an attached figure, loss of an attached figure and failure to develop an attachment to any figure.

The rate of depression was the highest in women whose mothers had died before the child reached the age of 6. This led gowlby a very important study on the long-term effects of privation, carried out by Hodges and Tizard To investigate the long-term effects of maternal deprivation on people in order to see whether delinquents biwlby suffered deprivation.

Bowlbyalso postulated that the fear of strangers represents an important survival mechanism, built etudy by nature. According to Bowlbythe primary caregiver acts as a prototype for future relationships via the internal working model. Bowlby assumed that physical separation on its own could lead to deprivation but Rutter argues that it is the disruption of the attachment rather than the physical separation.