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Disruption of attachment robertson - short term disruption

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  • 1.  The effects of: disruption of attachment failure to form attachment (privation) institutional care
  • 2. “Prolonged deprivation of a young child of maternal care may have grave and far-reaching effects on his character …similar in form… to deprivation of vitamins in infancy.” Bowlby (1953)
  • 3.  Based on Bowlby’s ideas:  Attachment is essential for healthy development  Must occur within sensitive period  Predicts developmental difficulty if the attachment relationship goes wrong:  General developmental problems  Specific issues with social development
  • 4.  Spitz (1945)  Spitz & Wolf (1946) Found that children in orphanages and long-term hospital care showed signs of depression Tended to recover quickly if separation was for <3 months.
  • 5. Robertson & Bowlby 1952 Natural observations of children undergoing short-term separations from their primary caregivers: •John spent 9 days in residential nursery while his mother went into hospital • 2 year old Laura spent a short time in hospital herself Findings: Children went through 3 stages of behaviour... Protest Despair Detachment Known as the P.D.D Model
  • 6.  Were alarmed by the despair they saw in hospitalised children, but found the medical profession reluctant to acknowledge it.....  The film of Laura (2y) used an unbiased time- sampling technique (filmed for 40 minutes at a time in random points in the day)  After seeing the film one doctor completely changed his perspective on the ward and could suddenly hear and see the distress in the children. He immediately introduced unrestricted visiting hours and encouraged parents of under 5s to stay with their child. This film was responsible for huge social change all over the world!
  • 7. Does separation have to result in problems? Robertson & Robertson 1971 •John – residential nursery 9 days  PDD & long-term anger to mother BUT •Children in short-term foster care in Robertson’s own home  no ill effects
  • 8.  Conclusion Demonstrated the difference between being placed in a foster care situation and being institutionalised  As long as children get substitute emotional support they cope with separation fairly well.....  Evaluation Can we generalise from a few case studies? Good external and internal validity (real setting, lack of observer bias, findings readily available and easily replicated) Robertson & Robertson 1971
  • 9. Lots of factors affect the response: Age Environment Caregiver Continuity of care Experience of separation Personality Choose 3 of these factors and explain how a parent could minimise problems if short-term separation is essential Short-term effects of separation
  • 10. So... Separation = a physical separation from caregiver. - where alternative emotional care is substituted  No long-term problems

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