A term made famous by John Bowlby who believed that children deprived of maternal care and affection in early childhood would suffer some degree of emotional, social or intellectual retardation in later life. The term ‘deprivation’ is applied when an attachment bond is broken. Bowlby’s early work with evacuated children in World War Two led him to believe that prolonged separation from the mother was the cause of the deprivation syndrome. This belief was strengthened as a result of research with rhesus monkeys carried out by Harry Harlow in the 1950s. Harlow showed that young monkeys separated from their mothers shortly after birth and raised in isolation would show irreversible effects later in life. Early studies of children raised in orphanages showed that they too frequently showed signs of adverse social, linguistic and intellectual functioning that were extremely long-lasting. Effects such as this that are due to the non-development of the attachment bond are a product of maternal privation . Bowlby’s work has clearly had a number of beneficial effects, particularly in the improvements of institutional care of young children, and the gradual increase in fostering as a preferred alternative to institutional care. Many of his claims about the dangers of separation from the mother appear to have been overstated, and the guilt that was felt by generations of working mothers appears to have been largely unfounded.