Warning: ob_start(): non-static method wpGoogleAnalytics::get_links() should not be called statically in /home2/jamal/public_html/aqabpsychology.co.uk/wp-content/plugins/wp-google-analytics/wp-google-analytics.php on line 259
Separation: Privation | AQA B Psychology
Home  ›  A2 Module 4  ›  Separation: Privation

Separation: Privation


Privation – Never having something in the first place. Not having any secure loving relationship with any attachment figure at all.

HODGES + TIZARD – Effects of privation looked at effects of early industrialisation, study of children who were placed into care before 4 moths.

  • Children who had been adopted had fewer difficulties than other children, including those who had been returned to love with their families.
  • Privation studies have come from animal research (ethical reasons)

HARLOW – Infant monkeys kept in cage with a ‘cloth mother’ and ‘wire mother’ with a feeding bottle. Kept in this cage for period of time, then released with other monkeys.

Infant monkeys spent time with cloth mother, and got food from wire mother. When returned with other monkey, they behaved inappropriately, delinquency, aggressive and attacked those who tried to mate.

  • Privated monkeys suffer emotionally.
  • Monkeys didn’t attach for food (BREMNER – inconsistent with secondary drive theory of attachment – attachment to mother just for food)


  • Supports Bowlby’s hypothesis – babies need to attach before certain age.
  • Consequences irreversible? (SUOMI – Could socialise 6-month old monkeys with younger female ones)
  • Not ethical – knowledge gained could outweigh ethical problems?

Privation Case Studies:

CURTISS – severe privation has permanent effects.

GENIE – At 13 year old, she was unable to speak, physically underdeveloped, showed inappropriate emotional responses. Never recovered from symptoms, though other factors may have contributed to her problems. Other cases show, that it is possible to overcome the effects of early suffering.

Experiment: RUTTER

AIM: Investigated progress of Romanian orphans bought into Britain for adoption. They have been raised in very poor institutions, little chance for attachments.

METHOD: Assessed on physical and intellectual ability on arrival and had periodic assessments until age of 4. Control group of British-adopted children was also tested to see whether it was separation from mother or the severe situation in Romania that was responsible for any negative effects.

RESULTS: Half of Romanian group showed intellectual deficits at the start, and were underweight. British showed no such effects. 4 years later, two groups had no significant differences.


  • Negative outcome from Romanian’s could be overcome by substitute care.
  • Separation from mother alone not sufficient to cause negative outcomes, as British-group    conclusionhelooihad been separated, but not developmentally delayed.

EVALUATION: KREPPNER – Romanian children had lower frequency of pretend play and ability to appreciate other people’s mental states

Rate this Article 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 Ratings)
Help us improve the wiki Send Your Comments