MOTHER LOVE IN INFANCY AND CHILDHOOD IS AS IMPORTANT FOR MAENTAL HEALTH AS ARE VITAMINS AND PROTEINS FOR PHYSICAL HEALTH' (BOWLBY 1953).
DESCRIBE AND DISCUSS THE ABOVE QUOTE WITH REFERENCE TO BOWLBY'S WORK.
The major and related components of Bowlby's theory of development are concerned with maternal deprivation, especially the effects of separation from their mothers on young children, and the explanation for these effects in terms of the nature of their attachment to her. Bowlby's theories have evolved over a thirty-year period, and any brief résumé is bound to do them less than justice. His later writings are much more theoretical, sophisticated and circumspect than his early writings; however, it was the earlier writings which had the most impact on public opinion.
An important aspect of Bowlby's theory is that he believed attachment to be monotropic, which is to one person only. Bowlby acknowledged that children became attached to a number of people, but believed that the principal bond is formed with the mother or permanent mother substitute, and is different in kind from all others. He claimed that the bond develops around the age of seven months to three years, and that this period is known as the critical period. It is this relationship which is essential for the child's security, and it is breaks in this relationship which Bowlby believes leads to psychological disorder. So Bowlby states that mothering cannot be shared; children can only have one mother figure. A young child may be separated from one or both caregivers for a variety of reasons, including divorce, death or hospitalisation. When the separation involves the loss of the primary attachment figure and consequent bond disruption, it is called deprivation. Bowlby's maternal deprivation hypothesis states that if the child experiences prolonged periods of separation such as those already stated, then the child will be at risk of suffering a number of short term and long-term consequences.