Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis

1222 Words Feb 26th, 2018 5 Pages
Bowlby worked with children who had experienced disrupted early lives and after studying children of post-war Europe, who had being separated from their parents, Bowlby came up with the theory of attachment. Bowlby observed and interviewed children in both hospitals and institutions to better understand the impacts of parent-child separation on a child. Bowlby believed that a child’s mental health was dependent upon a warm, continuous and loving bond between caregiver and child and found that the mental health of children who suffered deprivation (loss of attachment) was affected as a result, which lead Bowlby to come up with the maternal deprivation hypothesis. Bowlby called it maternal deprivation as women typically took the role of single primary caregiver at the time which links to Bowlby’s theory of monotropy. This emphasises the importance of the relationship between a child and a single primary caregiver. Bowlby realised that a child who suffers from maternal deprivation within the first 24 months of life, known as the critical period for attachment, will develop an internal working model of themselves as unworthy. An internal working model is a cognitive representation of relationships formed from the first maternal relationship we have. An unworthy…
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