Outline and Evaluate Research Into the Effects of Institutionalisation (12 Marks)

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Outline and evaluate research into the effects of institutionalisation (12 marks) Olivia Gibson Hodges and Tizard conducted a natural experiment that was longitudinal. The aim of the study was to examine the effects of institutional upbringing on later attachments. They studied 65 children who were all 16 years old and were brought up in a care home for the first four years of their lives. During their stay in the children’s home they had little opportunity to form an attachment because the children's home had a policy forbidding the staff to form attachments with the children, and so the care given was functional and lacked warmth, also staff turnover rate was high; by the age of two the children had approximately 24 carers each. At the age of four 25 of them were returned to their biological families, 33 of them were adopted and 7 of them were kept in the institution and occasionally adopted. They collected the data on the adolescents by interviewing the mothers (sometimes with the father present), interviewing the children, using self – report questionnaires, having the teachers of the adolescents complete a questionnaire on their relationships with their peers and the relationship with the teacher, and finally a Rutter ‘B’ scale psychometric test that identifies psychiatric problems such as depression. Their findings had been compared to the control group of children who had not been institutionalised. The findings showed that the children who were adopted formed stronger attachments to their adoptive mothers than the ‘restored’ children did with their natural mothers. However, according to their teachers both groups of children were unsuccessful compared to the control group at forming peer relationships and tended to seek the attention and the approval of adults. Therefore this study illustrates that relatively institutionalised children are able to

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