Discuss – are the effects of privation reversible? Privation is the failure to form an attachment during the early development stage. If this occurs, then there is normally a lack in basic survival needs such as food and comfort. There are many effects of privation, due to the lack of attachment forming, such as late development and malnourishment. One case of privation was that of Genie who was studied by Curtiss in 1970. Genie was found when she was 1 3 in 1970. Her father had considered her mentally retarded at birth so had kept her locked in a room for her life as he believed he was protecting her.
When she was found, Genie had no speech, her walk was different, made strange mannerisms with her hands, she did not 100k 13 years old and was unable to chew food. She was admitted to a children’s hospital and had a special education teacher to help her to try and recover. In 1971, she started to make her first noises, by imitating words she heard. After a few months she was able to communicate well with other adults. This breaks down Noam Chomsky’s idea that our language is innate as Genie learns it through experience.
They also had a weekly trip to the butchers and the butcher let her hold a piece of meat or a bone and let her discover it. She used to hold it up to her lips, as we see through a sensory homunculus that our lips have the greatest amount of sensation. However she was adopted by a family and they didn’t like her making noises so she then stopped talking again. Present day, Genie still struggles with social interactions and is not fully recovered. This shows that the effects of privation are not reversible as Genie still has not recovered from it. However, this is contradictory to Koluchov’s study in 1 976 of the Czech twins.
They lost their mother shortly after they were born and were put into care by a social agency before being adopted by maternal aunt. During this time, their development was normal. Their father remarried and their step-mother was abusive towards them. She shut them in the basement for 5 years. The twins were dwarfed in stature, lacking speech, suffering from rickets and did not understand the meaning of pictures. The doctors predicted that they would not recover. The boys went into a school for children with learning disabilities and a few months later they were adopted.
After this, they went on to further education and trained to be typewriter mechanics. This study contradicts that of Genie, as the twins ere made a full recovery. However, these boys were put into care so they had a maternal figure to form an attachment to whereas Genie did not. This may have impacted how their development was different to that of Genie’s. Genie also had been in privation a lot longer than the twins as they didn’t find Genie until she 13 years Old and the twins were in privation for less than half the time Genie was.
This would have also affected the outcomes of the studies. Rutter et al in 1 998 conducted a study that also supported the same view as that of Koluchov’s study. Rutter et al studied 1 11 Romanian orphans ho were adopted into the UK before the age of 2. At 2 years old, they were physically undersized and were not developed for their age. However, by the time they were 4, they had caught up and reached their age milestones. Rutter also found in this study that the later they were adopted, the longer it took for them to develop and reach age milestones.
The privation meant that their development was worse, but it does suggest that it is possible to recover from privation, but it may take time. Rutter then also conducted another study in 2007 which also supported his view previously presented. He once again followed Romanian orphans, but assessed each of them at the ages 4, 6 and 1 1. All the orphans he followed spent their life in severe emotional and physical privation. There were 3 different categories of when they were adopted, before 6 months, between 6 and 24 months and after 24 months.
When the children were adopted before they were six months old, they showed normal levels of development. If the children were adopted after they were six months old, their development worse than that of the children who Were adopted before. Even though all the infants Were in Severe privation, if hey were adopted before six months, attachments were still able to form. This meant that they had normal development and that the effects of privation could be avoided. These views were opposed by Quinton et al in 1985. Quinton followed women who had been reared in institutions for the mentally retarded.
When these women had children, they had problems rearing the children in comparison to non-institutionalised parents. The children spent more time in care and the mothers were less sensitive towards their children. Because of the privation they experienced when they were in the institution, meant that they were unable to cope as a parent. This shows us that the effects of privation are not reversible and that recovery is not possible. However, this could have been because of bad parenting models Of their own and not only the privation. Quinton’s view, although supporting that of Curtiss’ in 1970 differed from that of Hodges and Tizard.
Hodges and Tizard in 1 989 studied 65 children who had been institutionalised from less than 4 months old. There were strict rules for the nurses that they were not allowed to form attachments with the children. This meant that the care they received was more functional rather than nurturing. When they were 4 years ld, 24 of the children were adopted, 15 returned home and the rest stayed at the institution (the control group). They interviewed the children again at age 8 and 16. This was done by interviews, questionnaires and using the Rutter B scale (a psychometric test that tests for depression). The teachers were also interviewed.
They found that the group that had been adopted had better attachments than that of the group that returned home, however, both Of these groups showed that they seek approval from adults more than the control group. Hodges and Tizard concluded that the effects of privation are eversible, but only under the right conditions. This is also demonstrated with Freud and Dann in 1951. They studied six children who were kept in the ghetto of Terezin, a town in Czechoslovakia which became a Jewish ghetto during WWII from where people were sent to extermination camps such as Auschwitz. The children arrived there before they were one year old.
The ch ildren were looked after by adults passing through before they were sent to the gas chambers. The children had no chance to form attachments and were said to have suffered privation. When the camps were liberated, they were brought to Britain and fostered. They were followed to see if they recovered from early privation. Considering when were found in Terezin they could hardly speak, but were strongly attached to one another, showing separation anxiety when separated. They all developed normal intelligence, although one sought psychiatric help when older, and another described feeling alone and isolated.
This shows that it could be dependent upon your mental state and individual differences if you recover from the effects of privation or not. However, it does show that the effects of privation can be reversed as they were able to become attached to each other and showed separation anxiety hen separated. The majority of them Went on to develop and have a ‘normal’ life. Spitz and Wolf in 1 945 studied orphans of Poor South American orphanages, where staff were under-trained and over-worked. Staff rarely had time to interact with the children one-to-one, pick them up, or give any sort of affection to them.
Even when the babies were being fed, they were not held, instead the bottles were left propped in the babies mouths. The children had no toys or any type of positive stimulus. Research found that of 91 orphanages in the USA and Canada, one third died before their 1 st birthday, espite good nourishment and medical care. The children displayed anaclitic depression (reaction to loss of love object), which was characterised by; apprehension, sadness, weepiness, withdrawal, loss of appetite, refusal to eat, weight loss, sleep problems, developmental retardation.
Recovery was rare showing that the effects of privation are not reversible under severe circumstances. Stout in 2005 also went to Romania to study the Orphans there. When he went into the Orphanages, he saw that some of the beds had not been touched in days and other children had been drugged so they slept for days on end. This lead to severe emotional and physical privation. Most of the orphans died before they were 5 years old. Those who did survive, Stout found that they were socially under – developed and aggressive towards strangers.
Once couple from Canada said that they walked into the room to see that their 3 year old had thrown their new kitten out of the window (Lehrer 2009). This shows that the effects of privation are not reversible and that privation is psychologically damaging which can effect them in later life. Goldfarb in 1 943 carried out a study on 15 children who went into an institution from 6 months to 3 and half years Old. They were compared to children who had been directly fostered from the mother.
The institutionalised children were isolated in their first year and then matched to foster parents who were then matched to the birth mother’s genetics, education and occupational status. At age 3 all children were measured in abstract thinking, social maturity, rule-following and sociability. The institutionalised children were all behind the control group in measurement results. At age 10-14, the institutionalised children continued to perform poorly on compared tests of aptitude, including IQ tests, where excessively ifferent from the non-institutionalised children.
This shows that the effects of privation from a young age, 6 months, meant that they did not recover as well from privation as those that went straight from the mother to a foster parent. In conclusion, with the evidence shown here, believe that the effects of severe and longitudinal privation cannot be reversed as shown by Genie and Stout. However if the privation is for only a short while, such as up to 6 months, then it is possible to be reversed, as shown by Rutter. It is apparent that privation is morally wrong under any circumstance.