Social Isolation And Its Effects On Children Essay

Social Isolation And Its Effects On Children Essay

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Introduction
“Social isolation is one of the most devastating things you can do to a human being…” (Wiseman). Social isolation is characterized as a state in which individuals or groups have little to none communication with others. It affects all types of people from children and adults to elders. Though there are varying degrees of social isolation, even the slightest amount has detrimental effects, as social interaction is essential in the development and maintenance of mental health and health overall.

Social Isolation in Infancy and Early Childhood
Beginning in the 1940s, interest in researching the consequences of deprivation on infants increased greatly due to Rene Spitz’s groundbreaking findings (orphans-early lit on institutionalization). Researchers were intrigued by the fact that there was such a high mortality rate for institutionalized infants (orphans-early lit on institutionalization). People assumed it was due to highly infectious diseases. Contrastingly Spitz, a psychoanalyst and physician from Austria, proposed that the infants were suffering due to a lack of love (it’s the orphanages stupid). They were missing important emotional bonds that one usually gets through contact with their parents.
To test his theory, he compared infants raised in isolated hospital cribs to those raised in a prison with their mothers. If diseases were the reason the infants were dying, then both the hospital and the prison should have poor results. If anything the hospitals should yield better results than the prison because of the sterile environment. However if love mattered, the prisoners’ infants should prevail (it’s the orphanages stupid). Spitz found that 37% of the institutionalized infants died while there were no deaths am...


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...es. There she was further neglected and suffered more abuse. After some of time, she returned to the hospital. Unfortunately, all the progress they had made with Genie was compromise. She regressed back to being completely silent.
Social isolation experienced in childhood greatly impacts a child’s development. A lack of social interaction results in susceptibility to infectious illnesses, and psychological, cognitive, and behavioral issues to develop. These issues include being intellectually slow, less socially mature, and emotionally removed. In extremely severe incidences of social isolation, the individual may even experience death. One can protect their child from these effects by creating a secure attachment, having a supportive environment, and maintaining a positive relationship with their child (risk and protective factors for child abuse and neglect).




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