Discuss Research Into the Effects of Failing to Form Attachment (Privation)

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‘Discuss research into the effects of failing to form attachment (privation)’

There are situations in life which people get themselves into that can cause problems in forming attachments. If a person is in hospital or attends day care then this can lead to disruption in attachment however there are other situations that can lead to privation, which is when children fail to form any attachments at all. If a person is in hospital for a very long time, being abused, being neglected, children being isolated or even institutional care then this can lead to them not being able to form any attachments.

So, there have been many research studies that have been carried out by psychologists in the past which can show the effects of children failing to form attachments. One of the most common ones is Genie ‘The Feral Child’. Researchers found out that Genie, who was a 13 year old girl, was locked in a room all alone from when she was born, because her dad thought she was retarded. The teenage girl was often forgotten about when she was kept locked up in that room all by herself. She could not stand properly and she had a strange bunny-like-walk and she couldn’t speak other than the words ‘no more’ and ‘stop it’. She didn’t understand very much either and she was always spitting. Genie only weighed 59 pounds all in all; she had been lacking emotional care.

The effects of the lack of emotional care lead to Genie not forming any attachments with people and when she was taken away and put in a hospital in LA, she never fully recovered socially. After being looked after and cared for by teachers, doctors and scientists, Genie rarely showed any interest in other people that were around her during her life. Bowlby says that the sensitive period for effective attachment was between 6 months old and 2 to 3 years old. Genie Wiley was discovered by the local authorities at the age of 13 so this age was far too late for her to form attachments with people which mean that...
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