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1. Developmental Psychology: Attachment Behaviour Disruption of Attachment SEPARATION The effects of the separation of a child and their caregiver are different depending…
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  • 1. Developmental Psychology: Attachment Behaviour Disruption of Attachment SEPARATION The effects of the separation of a child and their caregiver are different depending on the duration of the separation. Short-term separation Around age 8-9 months when the child has established an attachment there is often an immediate response to separation. Short-term separation behaviour often follows a typical pattern: Protest Despair Detachment Research: Robertson & Robertson studied the behaviour of a 17 month old child called John who was cared for in an institution while his mother was in hospital. Robertson and Robertson’s (1969) study of John The Robertsons wanted to document how young children’s brief separation from their mothers affected their mental state and psychological development. The Robertson’s case study of John involved them carrying out naturalistic observations on the 17 month old while he stayed in a residential nursery for 9 days when his mother went into hospital. John experienced extreme distress while separated from his mother. Support/criticism The study provides clear evidence that a young child’s separation from his mother sets in motion a sequence of psychological reactions likely to have long term effects. The Robertsons recorded the separation of four other children but this time they acted as foster parents caring for each child round the clock. The effects of the separation were far less than what John 1
  • 2. experienced but the Robertsons concluded that however good the substitute mothering, separation is always dangerous and should be avoided. Importantly, the findings of this study changed hospital policies that had always restricted access to parents of sick children to a few hours a day. Now parents are allowed unlimited access to their sick children and this is largely down to the findings of this study. Long-term separation A typical effect of long-term separation of a child from their primary caregiver = SEPARATION ANXIETY. This is demonstrated by a range of behaviours including: • extreme clinginess • detachment (possibly to protect themselves from being hurt again) • demanding of the attachment figure Factors affecting a child’s responses to separation: There are individual differences and responses depend on five main factors incl: 1. 2. 3. 2
  • 3. Use p.66 & 67 of text books to write about three of the five factors LACK OF ATTACHMENT: THE EFFECT OF PRIVATION Privation = (write a definition using the key term box p.67 of your text books) There are two main types of studies that provide us with information about the effects of privation on children: Research: 1. Case studies - Koluchova (72,77,91) – case study involving Czechoslovakian twin boys who were abused by their families from the age of 18 months – 7 years. - Skuse (84) – case study of sisters who suffered extreme social and emotional abuse. Your task = draw a mindmap outlining both of the case studies above including evidence on how the children developed after being found (p. 67/68 of text books). 3
  • 4. Evaluation of case study research: • what are two ethical issues associated with case studies research involving cases of privation? • how does the methodological problem of lack of control associated with these types of case studies affect the research? Research: 2. Natural experiments An example of a natural experiment that focused on the effect of privation on children is Tizard and Hodges (84 & 89). Write this study up using the APFCC format (p.68-69 of your text books): 4
  • 5. EFFECTS OF INSTITUTIONALISATION One effect of institutionalisation is on emotional development particularly a behaviour pattern known as DISINHIBITED ATTACHMENT BEHAVIOUR = (write a definition using the key term box p.70 of your text books) Research: Rutter’s longitudinal study Write this study up using the APFCC format (p.71-72 of your text books): 5
  • 6. What factors may influence how well children recover from early institutionalisation? (see p.72-73 of text books) 6
  • 7. Teachers Guidelines Developmental Psychology: Attachment Behaviour Disruption of Attachment Page 1: • Students should use the text book p.65 to write up behaviours associated with PDD. Page 2: • Space left for students to do drawings to represent clinginess/detachment/demanding behaviours. • Students should use text books to write down 3/5 factors affecting child’s response to separation (p.66/67). Page 3: • Definition of privation (using key term box p.67) • Mindmap outlining case studies (p.67-68 text books) • Show video of feral children. Page 4: • Evaluation of case study research (p.68) • Write up Tizard & Hodges in APFCC format (p.68-69) Page 5: • Students should write their own definition of disinhibited attachment behaviour pattern • Write up Rutter’s research in the APFCC format Page 6: • Students should research and write up what factors may influence children’s recovery from early institutionalisation. 7
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