Spitz & Wolf found a 100 ‘normal’ children who were placed in institution, became severely depressed after a few months. Skeels and Dye found similar children performed poorly on intelligence tests. In the first week, he greeted his father enthusiastically, but by the second week he just sat quietly. When reunited with his mother, he screamed and struggled to get away from her. Months afterwards, he continued to show angry outbursts aimed at his mother. VALIDITY They were naturalistic observations which have high validity.
Furthermore Robertson was careful in the way he handled his observation records (in order to avoid observer bias). However, they could be said to have low validity – they were only case studies of a few children and it could be said that they have certain characteristics that separate them from the wider population (for example, the fact they were all from Britain and rural areas). It could be that other children would be used to separation and may not show such levels of distress. PHYSICAL V EMOTIONAL DISRUPTION
Skeels and Dye transferred some of the infants (from the earlier study, who had performed poorly) to a home for mentally retarded adults and found that there IQ actually increased. This could be because the adults provided them with the emotional care they had been missing. A study was then conducted where he transferred orphanes to the home and kept some at the orphanage (the control group). He found that the transferred group’s IQ increased from 64 to 92 and the control group’s had fallen from 87 to 61.
Bohoman found evidence to support the idea that ill effects due to lack of emotional development can be reversed. He followed 600 adopted children who before had been labelled as ‘difficult’ and found when they adolescent they were no different from the rest of the population. Unfortunately the negative effects of deprivation can be triggered later in life. 249 women were studied who had lost their mother before the age of 17. When they became adults, it would be more likely for them to have depressive/anxious disorders.
The deprivation in earlier life would have made then psychologically vulnerable so when put in a stressful situations, it is likely a mental disorder could develop. REAL LIFE APPLICATION Hospitals nowadays allow friends and family to visit people in hospital. This is because of the work of Robertson. He showed the films to the doctors (in the 1950’s) and they were outraged and in disbelief; they believed the children were happy (they had stopped visits from parents because they thought it upset them). In the 1950’s only 25% of hospitals allowed visits and 12% prohibited altogether.
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES Barrett reviewed studies concerning deprivation and concluded if the child was securely attached they could deal with separation better than those who were insecurely attached. Bowlby looked at children who had TB and had to enter hospital for a prolonged stay. He then visited them when adults and found though some were maladjusted, they had an average IQ in comparison to the rest of the population. He concluded that children probably had secure attachments, making them stronger (resilient).