maternal deprivation

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maternal deprivation John Bowlby's term for the absence of the maternal care considered necessary for later mental health. Subsequent research sought to specify child-care requirements–such as love, attachment, and stimulation–and the respective effects of their lack or distortion. Feminists denounce the idea for its ideological role in subordinating women to motherhood; others attack its imprecision.

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maternal deprivation (mă-ter-năl) n. the condition said to result if infants are deprived of the opportunity to form a close relationship with a single parental figure, who may or may not be the child's natural parent. It is characterized by distress and depression, leading to an inability to form lasting relationships.

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deprivation, maternal See MATERNAL DEPRIVATION.

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