Maternal deprivation is a concept which summarizes the scientific work of John Bowlby, a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. Bowlby studied the effects of separating young children from their parents. Generally, his empirical work found out that infants and young children should experience continuous tender loving care. Those who unfortunately did not have enough attention and intimacy suffered from psychosocial and even physical setbacks.
Bowlby specified that there are two very influential factors in childhood: prolonged separation from the mother and the mother’s emotional attitude. For instance, Bowlby studied the childhood experiences of 14 thieves which presented with affectionless characteristics. Twelve of them were found out to have experienced prolonged maternal separation.