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1. Genie Curtiss (1977) Case study this is one of key studies that you need to know for the child component of the course unit 3 2. Case Background…
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  • 1. Genie Curtiss (1977) Case study this is one of key studies that you need to know for the child component of the course unit 3
  • 2. Case Background <ul><li>Genie’s mother had a stormy relationship with her husband, who threatened to beat her and she lived in constant fear. </li></ul><ul><li>He did not want any more children and was violent and abusive towards his wife </li></ul>
  • 3. Case Background <ul><li>When their first daughter was born who was not genie, she seemed healthy but she cried a lot , but her father who was irritated by her put her in the garage so that he would not have to listen to her and the child died of pneumonia </li></ul><ul><li>3 yrs later a boy was born, and the mother tried to keep him quiet, the boy had developmental problems, being late to talk and walk </li></ul><ul><li>The husbands mother took him in and he thrived and was later returned to the father. </li></ul>
  • 4. Case Background <ul><li>Genie was born 3 yrs later in Los Angeles, weight was normal and had great head control when checked at 4 months, 5 months she was said to be alert and thus suggests that she may have been a normal baby. </li></ul><ul><li>At 14 months Genie had an illness and was feverish, she was seen by a paediatrician who said that she showed signs of possible mental retardation but it was hard to assess her development because of the fever. </li></ul>
  • 5. Case background <ul><li>Genie’s father who was already stable used this as an excuse to abuse her. </li></ul><ul><li>Genie’s father soon isolated her in her bedroom, she was tied to a potty chair during the day and a sleeping bag during the night, she occasionally made a noise to draw attention, but was then beaten so she stopped. </li></ul><ul><li>Her mother who began to go blind found it hard to go to speak to her, and her brother intimidated by her father and did not speak to her. </li></ul>
  • 6. Case Background <ul><li>When genie turned 13 had an argument with her husband and threatened to leave if he did not contact his own mother to get help, </li></ul><ul><li>Genie’s mother took genie and left the home </li></ul><ul><li>When they went to get help from a welfare office worker they saw genie and realised that something was very wrong and the police was called. Genie’s parents was charged with child abuse and on the day of the trial her father killed himself </li></ul>
  • 7. Aim <ul><li>The aim of the study was primarily to help Genie but also to see if a child of this age could learn language. </li></ul>
  • 8. Procedure <ul><li>Much of the data were gathered by working with and observing Genie, there were also weekly interviews with Genie’s mother but it seemed that she would only say what she thought that the social workers wanted to hear. </li></ul><ul><li>So it could be argued that the details given were not reliable. </li></ul>
  • 9. Procedure <ul><li>Information was gathered through Genie’s own behaviour and the few comments she made, there were daily doctor’s reports, videotapes, tape recordings, psychological testing was used, observations and language tests. </li></ul>
  • 10. Case study evidence <ul><li>When Genie was rescued at the age of 13 </li></ul><ul><li>At this point she had very little speech and was afraid of adults </li></ul><ul><li>She was placed in a hospital because she was also severely malnourished and started to become more social and develop </li></ul>
  • 11. Case study evidence <ul><li>From Jan 1971, Genie was in hospital and she started to become more social, as well as to develop cognitively and intellectually </li></ul><ul><li>When tested she was able to achieve some things of a 8-9 yr old such as cleaning up and bathing herself. </li></ul><ul><li>But other activities were that of a 2 yr old such as chewing food. </li></ul>
  • 12. Case study evidence <ul><li>In time language began to emerge and she started to ask for names of things around her. Curtiss’s account gives many examples of how Genie learnt language </li></ul><ul><li>She moved to a rehabilitation centre and began to develop but her development was not normal, she had delayed responses. </li></ul>
  • 13. Case study evidence <ul><li>She for instance could be asked to do something but would respond 10 mins later </li></ul><ul><li>She also chose the path that required least effort and seemed lazy </li></ul><ul><li>Her language did develop </li></ul><ul><li>Refer to the actual quote and make relevant notes </li></ul>
  • 14. Case study analysis <ul><li>Genie’s progress in language was analysed in relation to what was thought of as a critical period for language learning </li></ul><ul><li>A critical period means that something has to be learnt by a certain time frame or it will never be learnt </li></ul><ul><li>It is thought that the critical period for language development is thought to be from 2 yrs to puberty </li></ul>
  • 15. Case Study analysis <ul><li>The critical age has to do with brain maturity-it is not mature enough before the age of 2 and is fully mature by puberty </li></ul><ul><li>Animal studies show that critical periods for development for processes such as attachments </li></ul>
  • 16. Case study analysis <ul><li>At the time of Genie’s study, critical periods were being investigated, a problem with studying humans and critical periods was that experiments could not be carried out </li></ul><ul><li>A human child for instance could not be deprived to see what the results would be. </li></ul>
  • 17. Case study analysis <ul><li>In Genie, though and in other so called feral children (feral meaning wild), those that had no socialisation from birth or near birth) </li></ul><ul><li>This was a natural experiment, Genie had been deprived of natural stimulation until puberty </li></ul><ul><li>If she could still learn language, then this was evidence against the critical period. </li></ul>
  • 18. Case study analysis <ul><li>The difficulty with this study was that although Genie did not learn a lot of language </li></ul><ul><li>And other skills, it could not be said that her development could have been caught up </li></ul><ul><li>One feature of the study is that it was claimed that the language that Genie did develop was that associated with the right hemisphere of the brain and the tests done supported the idea that genie was a right hemisphere thinker and her language was abnormal. </li></ul>
  • 19. Case study analysis <ul><li>It was concluded that her case supported the idea of there being a critical period for normal language development </li></ul>
  • 20. What is now known about Genie <ul><li>After the study, when arrangements for Genie’s care were cut short because of a loss of funding </li></ul><ul><li>Genie went to stay in a residential home, here case was not further studied partly because it was not recognised that the psychologists involved in her case had tried to help her to develop, but had also used her as the subject of a study –there was thought to have been excessive testing given her situation. </li></ul>
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