The Importance of Child Bond to His Mother

1211 Words Mar 8th, 2006 5 Pages
The primal importance of a child 's bond to his mother has always been recognized as a topic that has fascinated people for hundreds of years. Among psychologists and sociologists, there is much debate about exactly how important this attachment is and why.
At the turn of the century, the treatment of new-born babies was regarded as having little significance for later life, because babies were thought to be immune to influence. Such idea was attacked by Sigmund Freud. He believed the relationship a child has with his mother was a prototype on which all future relationships were based.
Freud 's theory held that the child becomes attached to his mother because she is the source of food; hence she gratifies his most basic needs. Slightly
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This second phase of attachment is more widely accepted than the first, and has far greater long-term significance (Bee, 1995). However, the main concern is what happens if the child does not form a primary parental attachment. The most obvious case is of children who form no such attachment at all.
Harlow (1962) having studied the attachment behavior in rhesus monkeys followed this up with a study of the consequences of having no attachment at all. He raised monkeys in isolation for periods of time, and found that those who had no contact with their mothers, nor any peers during the first year of their lives were severely disturbed by the experience. When brought out of isolation, these monkeys did not participate in the active play, which is characteristic of normal monkeys, instead they huddled and withdrew. Once they turned into matured monkeys, they also proved to be incapable of mating, and those that were artificially inseminated were incompetent parents. Interestingly, monkeys who had not experienced being loved by a mother showed no love for their children, and even abused them horrifically.
To establish whether or not a similar phenomenon occurs in human development, Goldfarb (1955) studied children who were brought up in orphanages with little or no human contact for the first 3 years of their lives, and he compared them to children