Discuss Bowlby's Theory Of Maternal Deprivation

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Discuss Bowlby’s theory of maternal deprivation 2/8/2012 Adele Nottingham John Bowlby was commissioned by the World Health Organisation after World War 2 to investigate the effects on children's development of being bought up by institutes rather than parents. It is impossible to study attachment and child development without considering Bowlby’s work. Attachment theory is the joint work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth (Ainsworth &Bowlby, 1991). Drawing on concepts from ethology, cybernetics, information processing, developmental psychology, and psychoanalysts, John Bowlby formulated the basic tenets of the theory. He thereby revolutionised our thinking about a child’s tie to the mother and its disruption through separation, deprivation, and bereavement. Mary Ainsworth’s innovative methodology not only made it possible to test some of Bowlby’s ideas empirically but also helped expand the theory itself and is responsible for some of the new directions it is now taking. Ainsworth contributed the concept of the attachment figure as a secure base from which an infant can explore the world. In addition, she formulated the concept of maternal sensitivity to infant signals and its role in the development of infant-mother attachment patterns. His theories on attachment and on maternal deprivation have been some of the most influential writings on the topic. Bowlby worked for many years as a child psychoanalyst so was clearly very influenced by Freud’s theories and child development. However, he also liked the work of Lorenz on the innate nature of bonds through imprinting and combined these two very different ideas to produce his own evolutionary theory of attachments. Bowlby believed that attachment is innate and adaptive. We are all born with an inherited need to form attachments and this is to help us survive. In line with Darwin’s theory of natural
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