Essay on Foster Care and Behaviour Genie

Submitted By lola550
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Genie: a case study of extreme privation (Curtiss, 1977) Background The authorities discovered genie at the age of 13, having been kept in virtual isolation for most of her life, and treated cruelly by her parents. She had been tied to a ‘potty chair’ for much of the time could only eat baby food, and her development was severely retarded. She walked awkwardly, had no language, and made very little sound, having been beaten for making a noise. Treatment After spending about a year in hospital, Genie went to live with her therapist, David Rigler, and his family. He was also in charge of the scientific research project that had funding to study whether Genie was able to develop language, or whether she had passed the critical period for language development. She lived with them for four years, and experienced an intensive care and rehabilitation programme. Genie’s behaviour Genie made good progress during her time with the Riglers and when in the hospital. She learned to say and recognise a lot of words, and though she never got to grips with grammar, she communicated well. According to Curtiss she made around a year’s progress for every year after she was found.
Another area of concern was Genie’s ability to form attachments. She did seem to become attached to the family who looked after her, and became gradually more sociable. However, after four years with the Riglers, the research funding was cut. Genie still displayed a lot of difficult behaviour, such as tantrums, and looking after her had been a real strain on the family, so the Riglers gave up looking after her, and Genie returned to her biological mother. Unfortunately, Genie was too difficult for her mother to take care of, and she was placed in a series of care homes and foster homes, where she was sometimes treated very badly, and she regressed dramatically. Conclusions This study…