Effects Of Maternal Deprivation Theory

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Maternal deprivation theory formulated by Bowlby refers to various situations in which a child is separated by his mother or by a permanent substitute caregiver. The situations may range from : returning to work after the maternity leave period, hospitalisation of the child (but could be of the mother as well by implicit consequences), death of the mother, abandonment of the child in orphanages and residential nurseries. Given the pivotal influence a secure attachment has for the child in the long term, Bowlby rightfully started to investigate the effects of the interruptions in the relationship. In 1951 he presented his conclusions to the WHO ( World Health Organisation). He believed that daycare children younger than three or even five years old were at great and permanent psychological danger due to maternal deprivation. He summarized three main stages of emotional transformation of a child placed in institutional care who is denied maternal presence and affection. First stage - Protest: the child cries and clinges to his mother/other adults when picked up seeking intensely her/their attention and love. Second stage - Despair: the child despaires, but then cries less, his activity decreases, he slowly demands less from the adult, moving towards resignation. Last stage - Detachment : the child avoids social interaction, focuses more on the world of inanimated objects, acquires fixed/rigid behaviours (e.g.rocking) or facial expressions and ultimately strongly reacts when

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