Discuss research related to failure to form attachment 12 Marks AOI = 16 A02 16 Curtis et al. studied the case of Genie, a girl who was left in isolation until being found at the age of 13, and being beaten when she made noise. When she was found she could barely walk, and could not talk. Researchers and doctors managed to tech her minimal vocabulary; however she could never string a sentence together and did not fully recover. Perhaps this was due to early emotional privation or the late stage he was discovered at was far past Bowlbys suggested critical period for making healthy attachments.
Although Genie’s case study provides valuable supporting evidence for theories such as Bowlbys, the circumstances are unique and extremely rare, making it hard to generalise the conclusions across a population. Also we don’t know whether genie was mentally disabled from birth or her disability is a result of her isolation and abuse. In addition to this, many of the tests ran on Genie were epeated to observe any progress which was shown, however these tests may have been testing how familiar she was with them rather than her understanding of what is involved in them, this renders any data from these tests invalid and unrepresentative.
Hodges and Tizard studied children who’d been institutionalised at an early age (before given the chance to form attachments) and were then either adopted or taken back by their parents. At the age of 16, those who went to live with their parents didn’t bond with them well; however the adopted children had strong ecure attachments with their foster families- not supporting the maternal deprivation hypothesis given by Bowlby.
Although, all children experienced problems with peers and would seek attention from adults, supporting the hypothesis, and showing signs of disinhibited attachments. A weakness of this research is the assumption made by the researchers that the children had failed to form attachments. The lack of control in the study (for example there is no control group) means that problems in later life and attention seeking behaviour may have been aused by other factors such as feeling rejected, and so would be the consequences of disruption rather than failure to form attachment in the first place.
Another case study is looking a Czech twins, who were discovered from isolation when 7-years-old and then cared for by their sisters. At age 14 the twins showed normal social and intellectual behaviour, and at age 20 their intelligence was above average and they were part of excellent relationships, suggesting that early privation and failure to orm attachments does not mean that healthy social development and attachments can’t be formed in later life.
However, with this case study we cannot generalise findings to the whole population as theyre a case and under unique circumstances. Also, another weakness of the study is that the twins were able to bond emotionally with each other meaning that their ability to progress in later life may have been reliant on this. Discuss research related to failure to form attachment By georginaylwin