Effects of Privation

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‘Some children seem to recover from the effect of privation, but others do not’ outline research into the effects of privation and consider the extent to which the effects of privation can be reversed.

Privation is a lack or absence of basic needs or comforts of life, many psychologists have studied the effects of privation on children of certain ages and backgrounds, and analysed how they recover. One of these studies was that of Koluchova she studied a pair of Czech twins who had been locked in a cellar until the age of 7, when they were found they had no speech and were terrified of people, Koluchova wanted to see how they recovered from their trauma, the boys were adopted by 2 sisters who gave them a loving and caring home, and after she visited again in 1977 they had an average intelligence and developed into healthy sociable boys, Koluchova concluded that privation can be reversed when given a supportive loving environment, although these twins are different to other studies as they had each others company, which may diminish effects of privation.

Another study that suggests privation is reversible is Hodges and Tizzard’s study of restored children and adoptees following initial time in care, they found that a majority of the adopted children were able to form strong attachments by age 8, whereas the restored group continued to experience some problems with their family relationships notably with siblings, this is probably because the restored children aren’t receiving the same amount of love as the adopted children, and this may be down to the parents as they were at one stage considered unfit, so they aren’t likely to be perfect parents.

One study that suggests privation cannot be reversed is Curtiss’ study of Genie, she is a case of extreme privation, kept in silence, tied to a potty and fed baby food until the age of 5 she wasn’t found until the age of 13. She had limited language skills and only found attachment with some foster carers,...
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