Discuss to the extent to which the effects of privation can be reversed.
Privation is when an attachment has not had the chance to be formed, this occurs in times such as when a child is orphaned at birth.
Hodges and Tizard conducted a study on the effects of privation; they aimed to see whether the effects could be reversed. It was a longitudinal study using 65 children who were placed in care before 4 months, compared to a control group of children who were raised at home normally who had attachments. They measured emotional and social competence at ages 4, 8 and 16. The study found that at the children who were restored to their real parents were less likely to have formed attachments with their original families, but adopted children were as closely attached to their adoptive parents as the control group. However both the groups of ex-institutionalised children had problems with peer relationships. These findings suggest that their early privation had a negative effect on the ability to form relationships. This supports bowlby’s theory that failure to form attachments has an irreversible effect on emotional development.
This research however can be criticised because it lacks external validity. This is due to the fact that it was a longitudinal study, and during the 16 years there would have been participant drop off. This means that there would be less participants and therefore a smaller sample size, so it cannot be generalised. There is also the chance of social desirability as some people are likely to pretend they have a better relationship with their parents/children so they seem like better parents than they think they are.
Further research into the effects of privation was conducted by Koluchova on the “Czech twins”. This was a case study about 2 children who were locked in a cellar until they were found at 7 years old; they were often beaten by their parents. The twins had no language, but could understand each other by communicating...