AO1 = /6 AO2 = /6
Curtis et al. studied the case of Genie, a girl who was left in isolation until being found at the age of 13, and being beaten when she made noise. When she was found she could barely walk, and could not talk. Researchers and doctors managed to tech her minimal vocabulary; however she could never string a sentence together and did not fully recover. Perhaps this was due to early emotional privation or the late stage she was discovered at was far past Bowlby’s suggested critical period for making healthy attachments.
Although Genie’s case study provides valuable supporting evidence for theories such as Bowlby’s, the circumstances are unique and extremely rare, making it hard to generalise the conclusions across a population. Also we don’t know whether genie was mentally disabled from birth or her disability is a result of her isolation and abuse. In addition to this, many of the tests ran on Genie were repeated to observe any progress which was shown, however these tests may have been testing how familiar she was with them rather than her understanding of what is involved in them, this renders any data from these tests invalid and unrepresentative.
Hodges and Tizard studied children who’d been institutionalised at an early age (before given the chance to form attachments) and were then either adopted or taken back by their parents. At the age of 16, those who went to live with their parents didn’t bond with them well; however the adopted children had strong secure attachments with their foster families- not supporting the maternal deprivation hypothesis given by Bowlby. Although, all children experienced problems with peers and would seek attention from adults, supporting the hypothesis, and showing signs of disinhibited attachments.
A weakness of this research is the assumption made by the researchers that the children had failed to form attachments. The lack of control in