They will try to cling on to the parent to stop them leaving. Attachment, communication, and the therapeutic process. 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. He also found evidence of anti-social behavior, affectionless psychopathy, and disorders of language, intellectual development and physical growth. Development and Psychopathology, 4 03 ,

Bowlby believes that this attachment is qualitatively different from any subsequent attachments. Maternal care and mental health. Child development , None of the control group were affectionless psychopaths. Download this article as a PDF.

The development of affective responsiveness in infant monkeys. The study was vulnerable to researcher bias. Particularly as he was responsible for making the diagnosis of affectionless psychopathy. Lorenz showed that attachment was innate in young ducklings and therefore has a survival value. This internal working model is a cognitive framework comprising mental representations for understanding the world, self, and others.

Bowlby’s Attachment Theory

Bowlby hypothesized that both infants and mothers have evolved a biological need to stay in contact with each other. The determinant of attachment is not food but care and responsiveness. Indeed, other external variables, such as family conflict, parental income, education, etc.

bowlbys maternal deprivation hypothesis essay

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.


Konrad Lorenz supports Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis as the attachment process of imprinting is an innate process. Development and Psychopathology, 4 03 Another criticism of the 44 thieves study was that it concluded affectionless psychopathy was caused by maternal deprivation.

Michael Rutter argued that if a child fails to develop an emotional bondthis is privationwhereas deprivation refers to the loss of or damage to an attachment.

bowlbys maternal deprivation hypothesis essay

Child and sibling caretaking. Rutter argues that these problems are not due solely to the lack of attachment to a mother figure, as Bowlby claimed, but to factors such as the lack of intellectual stimulation and social experiences which attachments mxternal provide. Between and an opportunity sample of 88 children was selected from the clinic where Bowlby worked.

bowlbys maternal deprivation hypothesis essay

Symposium on the contribution of current theories to an understanding of child development. Der Kumpan in der Umwelt des Vogels. The psychologist and social worker made separate reports.

John Bowlby | Maternal Deprivation Theory | Simply Psychology

None of the control group were affectionless psychopaths. During the evolution of the human species, it would hypohhesis been the babies who stayed close to their mothers that would have survived to have children of their own. 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.


Bowlby used the term maternal deprivation to refer to the separation or loss of the mother as well as failure to develop an attachment. Mourning or early inadequate care? Contributions to the Bowlby-Ainsworth attachment theory. This risk continues until the age of five.

Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis

Their characters and home life. 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 is that mothers should not go out to work.

Rutter stresses that the quality of the attachment bond is the most important factor, rather than just deprivation in the critical period. This potentially undermines their validity.

Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis – A-Level Psychology – Marked by

New findings, new concepts, new approaches. There are three main features of the internal working model: Patterns of attachment in two-and three-year-olds in normal families and families with parental depression. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, 46, — Are the effects of maternal deprivation as dire as Bowlby suggested?