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Maternal deprivation: fact or fallacy?

Geraldine McDonald

In 1951, the World Health Organisation published a report by John Bowlby entitled Maternal Care and Mental Health. In that report Bowlby reviewed a variety of research studies concerning children in institutions such as orphanages and foundling homes, and he assessed the effect of these circumstances on the children's subsequent development. He came to the conclusion that the children who were the subjects of the various studies had suffered severely in their development, and that this was due, in the main, to the fact that they had been deprived of mothering.

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