EDUindex News

EDUindex News

Children, Social Isolation, and Neglect

 There exists within the developmental psychology realm several cases of severely neglected, abused and socially isolated children. These children have been for the duration of their short lives kept in inhumane conditions. Such children when eventually found, are often suffering severe physical and psychological deficits. This essay will discuss the effects of severe social isolation, neglect, and abuse on the development of children subjected to such conditions. The areas of physical, emotional, cognitive and social development will be carefully scrutinized by examining both literature and case studies in this field. The essay will also discuss the possible mitigating factors of isolation and examine whether recovery of affected areas is possible.

             Both the theory of attachment and the modern view of nature versus nurture debate emphasise the importance of a stable, stimulating the home environment for the normal development of children. This, therefore, suggests that a child subjected to a severely negative, hostile or unstimulating environment for prolonged periods of time where the normal attachment is not cultivated may be severely impaired, and suffer from numerous adverse developmental effects.
             The nature versus nurture debate has long played a pivotal role in the field of developmental psychology. Extensive research into both genetic and environmental influences on the development of an individual has led to the modern, widely held belief that both nature and nurture are critical in examining development. The maturation and physical and mental progress of an individual is greatly influenced by not only biological predisposition but also exposure to the external environment and other forms of stimuli (Cole & Cole 2001).