Rutter on Bowlby


Rutter followed up Bowlby's work with a further study of children who had broken the law and he found that the biggest factor in emotional disturbance was hostility and aggression in the home prior to separation from the mother.


Later in his work, 'Maternal Deprivation: Reassessed' (1991, p217) Rutter states,


  1. Investigations have demonstrated the importance of a child's relationship with people other than his mother.
  2. Most important of all there have been the repeated findings that many children are not damaged by deprivation.
  3. The old issue of critical periods of development and the crucial importance of early years has been reopened and re-examined. The evidence is unequivocal that experiences at all ages have an impact.
  1. The first few years may have a special importance for bond formation and social development.


In this article which has been written to support the role of fathers in a child's upbringing you can read more about the arguments for and against Bowlby’s theories.