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View topic: Dr Jennifer McIntosh and Dr John Bowlby - The debate – Family Law Web Guide
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Dr Jennifer McIntosh and Dr John Bowlby - The debate

Family Law SECOND LETTER to Attorney-General Re Dr Jennifer McIntosh and Dr John Bowlby - The debate

Firstly, I wish to point out that I did not develop attachment theory, so there is no need to turn this discussion into a personal attack on me.  I am posting on this forum for one purpose only and that is to explain fundamentals of attachment theory.  It is a very well researched topic in psychology and there is much consensus both here and overseas as to it validity. I am merely explaining it much the same way as legal people on his site explain the law.  It is heart breaking to read posts on this site of fathers wanting to be with their children.  They are in a vulnerable position.  So when someone who comes on and misquotes research or says these experts know nothing, babies can tolerate shared care it gives people false hope and possibly they pursue legal action only to be met with an unhappy outcome and little understanding as to why that happened.  A dad who only gets to see his baby a few times a week is confused.  I was trying to explain why these decisions were made in court.

The need for the infant to maintain its attachment relationship is not to avoid separation anxiety, but rather to prevent the development of an insecure attachment.  When I have written that the attachment relationship should be prioritised in care of infants I should have made it clear that that is where the attachment is secure (this is the case usually).  I thought it was self-evident.  My apologies for any confusion.  Insecure attachment can be a precursor to subsequent psychopathology and an insecurely attached infant is at a disadvantage from a mental health point of view. An infant who has an abusive primary "carer" would not exhibit a secure attachment and the insecure disorganised attachment that would be evident to any child consultant involved in such a case would most certainly not be prioritised or preserved.

The case that has been mentioned here, where the 14 month old has one night a fortnight with the father, IS an example of the court prioritising the attachment relationship.  Putting the attachment relationship first does not mean there is no consideration of any other factors, and comments like mum gets the kids and dads get nothing leads to more misinformation, more anger and more frustration.

I can understand the feelings people are expressing here.  When I first studied attachment theory I thought what a load of nonsense all babies are different, but I subsequently changed my mind when I started to read the multitude of studies that have been done over the years and the mountain of research which has been done is very hard to refute.  When you witness an infant with an insecure attachment and see how it affects their development you would want to avoid that happening to any baby. The overwhelming conclusion made by researchers in this field is that infants need to form a secure attachment to a primary caregiver to facilitate appropriate mental development.  It is for want of a better phrase an inconvenient truth.

Mike T  I respectfully suggest that you revert to criticism of grammar, statistical inaccuracies or other discussions of semantics when you dont agree with someone.  If I have made comments which you find numerically offensive then I apologise but I dont think a debate about their accuracy is helping the broader discussion here.

Last edit: by April

The case that has been mentioned here, where the 14 month old has one night a fortnight with the father, IS an example of the court prioritising the attachment relationship.
Yes, it probably is . Perhaps less frequent over night contact then what has been studied is not as detrimental as some are inferring. What I don't understand is why has Jennifer macintosh's and co's research which only examined 2 very specific over night care arrangements been interrupted by the AAIMHI into broad guidelines that state:

Under the age of two years, overnight separations from the primary parent create unique stresses
for the infant. In the majority of circumstances, non-essential overnight separations during these
critical months of development are not advisable.
Thus, in general, but always guided by the unique
needs of each infant, prior to the age of two years, overnight time away from the primary care-giver
should be avoided, unless necessary

Publishing guidelines like this to advise parents, judges, legal counsel surely is misleading, as no research has examined ALL of the over night care time frames that could be possible. I personally don't believe that any study based on parents uneducated subjective opinion could be seen as totally sound. It would also have been very easy for researches to be selective in choosing participants in this study as well but i'll ignore that aspect of the research atm.
April said
Firstly, I wish to point out that I did not develop attachment theory, so there is no need to turn this discussion into a personal attack on me.
So you expect to be able to say anything without it being discussed or is it simply you playing the victim? I certainly did not attack you at all, I attacked, if you wish to use that word, your arguments that you put up for discussion in a discussion forum.  That's assuming that this was aimed at myself.

April said
When I have written that the attachment relationship should be prioritised in care of infants I should have made it clear that that is where the attachment is secure (this is the case usually).
What I questioned was not that, what you wrote, that was questioned/criticised by myself, was that attachment should be the first priority and thus without statements identifying otherwise an inaccurate statement, as previously explained. Why are you trying to make out that it was something else that you wrote? I'd suggest that you are doing your credibility no favours by trying to distort matters and are simply opening your statements up for further criticism.

April said
I can understand the feelings people are expressing here.
I don't believe that you can understand the feelings that people are expressing here. If you can then you will have no problem explaining mine. You have never been in my position or been through what I have been through and so on. In fact it is quite clear that you have little understanding of what I am feeling.

April said
Mike T  I respectfully suggest that you revert to criticism of grammar, statistical inaccuracies or other discussions of semantics when you dont agree with someone.  If I have made comments which you find numerically offensive then I apologise but I dont think a debate about their accuracy is helping the broader discussion here.
I'll suggest that you are being quite disrespectful and hypocritical in what I see as an attempt at a personal attack on myself with your rant about what you suggest that I do. Can you not see the stupidity of your suggestion. It would appear as an example that you would how me dispute grammar when I see that someone has made posts with clear flaws. How would that be constructive discussion? However, of course, you have opened the doors of acceptable behaviour towards yourself and thus have no issue about any person suggesting how you participate in the forums; I guess as long as they say with all due respect or words to that affect and otherwise do not break the forum rules. Alternately you may simply wish to withdraw your suggestion as not being a wise thing to suggest. I believe that the latter would be the wiser.

Did I mention being offended? I believe that I did not. Where did you get that from?  You may consider the number of parents who retaliate in the way you suggest is irrelevant, but it is not at all. You, as so many others do, are making many non-residential parents out to be what they are clearly not. It is very relevant for the balance of views on this portal. Thus I ask you again to accept and acknowledge that the number that you indicated was in fact incorrect, was an over exaggeration, and was an impossibility considering the current legislation/system.

Lastly I would yet again appreciate you explaining the actual difference between bonding and attachment. I believe that it could actually be the same as per "Bonding typically refers to the process of attachment that develops between romantic partners, close friends, or parents and children. This bond is characterized by emotions such as affection and trust.". I'd certainly believe that many would be interested as it could purely be a play on words used to exclude the term bonding because that can often be associated with males as the term male bonding is apparently used more frequently than the term female bonding.
Our world has changed a lot in 50 years to the point where some fathers now want to have a primary carer like role in the lives of their children. This is a major backlash against the achievements of feminism. There are many mothers just as there are fathers who should not be parents as they lack skills or maturity. It's good to have people like April to share their profeminist views so we can clearly see what we are dealing with. They don't care if the primary carer abuses the child as they are only interested in the right of the primary carer and not the child.
If the argument is that separated parents who can co-operate can do whatever they want and that would mean not even following these guidelines in many cases then why couldn't a progressive overnight schedule be worked into orders here?   Furthermore if the baby is older, say 12 months?, then why couldn't shared care if the parents want it start from there.  How can a primary attachment argument be used for Court parents but not non Court partents.  Unless like I said there was need for concern.  Any additional things such as possible cancellation if child is sick (with certificate maybe?) could be written in?

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
Fairgo said
Our world has changed a lot in 50 years to the point where some fathers now want to have a primary carer like role in the lives of their children. This is a major backlash against the achievements of feminism. There are many mothers just as there are fathers who should not be parents as they lack skills or maturity. It's good to have people like April to share their profeminist views so we can clearly see what we are dealing with. They don't care if the primary carer abuses the child as they are only interested in the right of the primary carer and not the child.
 

Infants don't know the world has changed in the past 50 years.  Attachment is concerned with the infant's behaviour toward the person who most consistently meets his/her basic needs.  It is a biological drive evolved over thousands of years to keep the infant safe.  The usefulness of the primary attachment relationship to the infant reduces as he/she grows into a child and seeks relationships with others.

If a primary carer is abusing an infant there would be no evidence of a secure attachment.  That would become very evident to any child psychologist or child welfare worker.  Primary caregivers don't have a right to the infant, the infant has a right to the primary caregiver.

If dad wants to be the primary caregiver the infant doesn't care.  The infant only cares about consistency of care.  Fathers who wish to take on the role of primary caregiver need to do so from the start because trying to regularly change care arrangements months later because the couple is no longer together will disrupt the infant's attachment to its caregiver.



CrazyWorld, parents can decide how they wish to raise their infants whether they are together or not and that is their choice.  No one else need be involved (unless the infant is being abused or neglected).  If two people split up and want to raise their infant on a 50/50 basis and it works for them that is great and it is no one else's business.   However when parents are asking a court to take RESPONSIBILITY for a decision regarding care arrangments it should come as no surprise that the court will be conservative.  It would be remiss of a court to make arrangements which regularly disrupt the attachment relationship for an infant just as it would be remiss for a court to also not include provisions for the other parent to be involved in the life of the infant as well.  The court must act in the interest of the child and it is in the interest of the infant to be able to have consistent acess to his/her caregiver for the first couple of years of life at least.



The benefit of a child growing up having experienced a secure attachment during infancy is that the child is more likely to expect and have further positive experiences in subsequent relationships.  Infants who experience inconsistent care and who develop an insecure attachment relationship may grow up to be untrusting or avoidant of relationships and this sets up problems for the child as it grows.
April said
If a primary carer is abusing an infant there would be no evidence of a secure attachment.  That would become very evident to any child psychologist or child welfare worker.  Primary caregivers don't have a right to the infant, the infant has a right to the primary caregiver.

How would such people become so very evident? I believe that in far too many cases they are not at all aware unless a third party makes some form of report or the child ends up in hospital or dies.


Where is there anything written that is officially la right that says that a child has a right to the primary caregiver. I believe the only rights that are anything other than basically hot air, within Australia, are those as set out in the UN convention of the rights of the child and they do not specify such a right. A search, in that convention, shows that the term or argument "primary caregiver" does not appear at all and that the word primary appears six times as follows:


Article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child said
1. In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

Article 18 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child said
1. States Parties shall use their best efforts to ensure recognition of the principle that both parents have common responsibilities for the upbringing and development of the child. Parents or, as the case may be, legal guardians, have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child. The best interests of the child will be their basic concern.

Article 24(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child said
(b) To ensure the provision of necessary medical assistance and health care to all children with emphasis on the development of primary health care;

© To combat disease and malnutrition, including within the framework of primary health care, through, inter alia, the application of readily available technology and through the provision of adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking-water, taking into consideration the dangers and risks of environmental pollution;

Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child said
2. The parent(s) or others responsible for the child have the primary responsibility to secure, within their abilities and financial capacities, the conditions of living necessary for the child's development.

Article 28(1) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child said
(a) Make primary education compulsory and available free to all;

April you are relying on and giving false information/distortions for your arguments. Could you please explain why you have this frequent need to resort to falsehoods/distortions?
April said
Infants don't know the world has changed in the past 50 years.  Attachment is concerned with the infant's behaviour toward the person who most consistently meets his/her basic needs.

There are a lot of psychologists/ethologists out there that would argue, that quality of care is more important to infants then consistency. If consistency was the over riding important factor then why do studies show that the majority of primary carers, who work full time, still have infants that develop a secure attachment to them?

In regards to attachment theory, there doesn't seem to be a definite consensus among professionals about how attachment develops and all the factors which may or may not influence it. Obviously you have your opinion on how it works April, but literature shows that there are other professionals with vastly differing points of view to you out there. Some believe only the first 9 months is important for an infant to develop a secure attachment, some believe it's 18 months, some believe it's 5 years.

What really should concern parents and professionals alike is the fact that such guidelines have been released based on only 1 very limited ( and possibly manipulated) study.
Mike T - to answer your first question it would be self-evident that if a child psych etc was in the picture that a third party would already be involved.

In regard to "right" of the child, please refer to "fairgo's" reference to primary caregiver rights (which I quoted), which is the comment I was responding to.




Frenzy - How do you have inconsistent quality care?  If it was inconsistent it would not be "quality" care.

The guidelines referred to in this thread were written….

In keeping with developmental knowledge and current research (see Infants and Overnight Care  Post Separation and Divorce paper)

They were not written based on one piece of research.  The guidelines were informed by contemporary knowledge of infant development which incorprates an entire body of research.

There is research which shows that attachment in babies/infants is compromised by long day care. Long day care is not recommended for young infants if possible.



To the good folk of this web site.  I posted to explain attachment theory not to defend it.  I can see no point in posting any more as I don't feel I am achieving anything worthwhile.
April said
Frenzy - How do you have inconsistent quality care?  If it was inconsistent it would not be "quality" care.
By your use of the word consistent, I was taking it as you meant the parent is there for the child consistently (continually, persistently, regularly). Just because a parent provides consistent ( continual, persistent, regular) care, does not automatically mean that care is 'quality' care that meet all the child's physical or emotional needs.

April said
In keeping with developmental knowledge and current research
What other 'current' research has been done on modern shared care court ordered arrangements in infants?
April said
 If two people split up and want to raise their infant on a 50/50 basis and it works for them that is great and it is no one else's business.
I don't quite understand what you are saying here April.  Are you saying that primary attachment theory isn't really that important to infants after all?  Given it would be fine for infants to have 50/50?  I'm just getting a little confused with your for and against arguments.    There is no guarantee that these parents will be co-operative on issues about the child always and nor is there any guarantee that either one of them will want to give up "their time" with the child.  Just because parents agree to 50/50 and do not end up in the Court doesn't mean they have a great relationship either, they no doubt would have stayed together if they did. 

April said
 It would be remiss of a court to make arrangements which regularly disrupt the attachment relationship for an infant just as it would be remiss for a court to also not include provisions for the other parent to be involved in the life of the infant as well.
How would this be remiss of the Court to make those same 50/50 arrangements where it deems it appropriate but not for those parents who choose 50/50 themselves as you say above?   Isn't the whole idea of this theory for the child to have 1 primary attachment figure for the first 2 years of life?  How does 50/50 of an infant support this?

April said
 The court must act in the interest of the child and it is in the interest of the infant to be able to have consistent acess to his/her caregiver for the first couple of years of life at least.
  Shouldn't this same arguments apply to parents then?  The ones you are supporting in 50/50 from day 1?  Wouldn't this mean that you also support what  Frenzy said…
Frenzy said
   There are a lot of psychologists/ethologists out there that would argue, that quality of care is more important to infants then consistency
…as your arguments certainly suggest that it would. 

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
All,

In my previous posting I tried to highlight that in Australia Dr Jenn McIntosh is trying to resurrect Dr John Bowlby's 1950's theory of 'Maternal Deprivation'. He described this theory which he said, 'focused attention on the relationship of a young child to the mother as an important determinant of mental health', in his book 'Maternal Care and Mental Health'.

In UK family law this unofficial policy is applied in courts as the Tender Years doctrine based on Case Laws. The former Master of the Rolls Lord Donaldson said in 1992,

'At the risk of being told by academics hereafter that my views are contrary to well-established authority, I think that there is a rebuttable presumption of fact that the best interests of a baby are best served by being with its mother, and I stress the word 'baby'. When we are moving on to whatever age it may be appropriate to describe the baby as having become a child, different considerations may well apply. But as far as babies are concerned, the starting point is, I think, that it should be with its mother.'

Although Lord Donaldson stipulated 'babies' the same principle may be applied at any age.

An alternative view is given by Professor Sir Michael Rutter who was knighted for his work on the welfare of children. In his seminal work 'Maternal Deprivation Reassessed' 1972, he says,

i. Investigations have demonstrated the importance of a child's relationship with people other than his mother.
ii. Most important of all there has been repeated findings that many children are not damaged by deprivation.
iii. The old issue of critical periods of development and the crucial importance of early years has been re-opened and re-examined. The evidence is unequivocal that experiences at all ages have an impact.
iv. It may be the first few years do have a special importance for bond formation and social development. (Page.217)

Dr John Bowlby became a household name after the Second World War because his theory seemed to reflect the mood of the country. But research has shown it is not true. Fathers can be equally as important even to very young children. Because of my own experience and qualifications I produced a book called 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' which sought to challenge the Tender Years doctrine as applied in family courts in the UK.

The recent Family Justice Review in the UK which denied children a right to meaningful contact with their fathers post separation was justified with reference to research from Australia and as a result I have taken a keen interest in the work of Dr Jenn McIntosh. Dr McIntosh recently introduced guidelines for Toddlers which led me to discover that in June 2011 as guest editor for the journal Family Court Review she produced a Special Edition based on Dr John Bowlby's version of attachment. In this Special Edition Dr McIntosh is seeking to make many of the claims, unchallenged, originally made by Bowlby in Maternal Care and Mental Health. For example the idea that in a Shared Parenting situation children are confused by more than one primary care giver. Therefore I have sought to look at each article in the journal, in turn, to analyse the research basis for these claims.

So far I have produced two videos;-

VIDEO - Dr Jennifer McIntosh and the Bowlby / Ainsworth Paradigm http://youtu.be/rS8Jo3oJo-Y


VIDEO - Professor Alan Sroufe and Shared Parenting -Divorce and Attachment Relationships http://youtu.be/dmwRGE535YI

But because Dr McIntosh is an established figure in Australian Family Law explaining the theory of Maternal Deprivation and the Tender Years Doctrine is not always straightforward. The next article on the list from the Special Edition by Allan Schore seemed very daunting. Apparently he is known as the 'American Bowlby' (which is regarded as a compliment) and his article is full of statements which you would expect from a person with such a description. In the summary of views Dr McIntosh refers on his work.

FAMILY LAW AND THE NEUROSCIENCE OF ATTACHMENT, PART I (pages 501512)Allan Schore and Jennifer McIntoshArticle first published online: 21 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-1617.2011.01387.x

But the real surprise is the second article on neuroscience;

FAMILY LAW AND THE NEUROSCIENCE OF ATTACHMENT, PART II (pages 513520)Daniel Siegel and Jennifer McIntoshArticle first published online: 21 JUL 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-1617.2011.01388.x

Professor Siegel obviously does not come from the same Bowlby / Ainsworth tradition as Dr McIntosh expected and completely contradicts the statements made in the previous article. Professor Siegel's article contains such gems as the statement,
 
Absolutely! I mean, if you outline the basics of a primary caregiver, you see how gender neutral it is. The primary caregiver is someone who is tuned in to the internal experience of the child, not just the child's behavior. That is the simplest way to say it. Males can do it, and females can do it. And some females cannot do it, and some males cannot do it. It is really a matter of seeing the internal world, not just managing behavior. And this reflective function can be taught: most can learn to have mindsight enabling us to perceive our own and others' internal worlds.

I have started a new thread called 'Dr Jennifer McIntosh and the Neuroscience of Shared Parenting' which has a copy of a script for a video I have produced on these articles. It was a real pleasure to be reminded by Professor Siegel of the reason I produced 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' in the first place.

Kip

PS You do not need me to tell you that Dr McIntosh ignores his views in her final analysis.

Kingsley Miller is the author of 'even Toddlers Need Fathers', a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in family courts, which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an, 'interesting and informative guide'. He has also received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating, 'It was thoughtful of you to enclose a copy of your book 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' and Her Majesty has noted your concerns'.
All,

Here is the direct link to the video;

Dr Jennifer McIntosh and the Neuroscience of Shared Parenting - Dr Allan Schore and Professor Daniel Siegel,

http://youtu.be/rj56-vip6_Q

In their articles Dr Allan Schore says,

Now, Bowlby originally proposed that the infant first has experiences with a supportive mother and a little later, father. My read of the current research is that the child's first bond is to the primary caregiver's (the mother's) right brain. At a later point, the 2nd year, the child will bond to the father if he is also providing regular care. At this later point, separation from the father will also elicit a stress reaction from the baby, the same as it would with separation from the mother. The second attachment and separation reaction is thus occurring at a later point in time than it would for the mother. Expanding upon these ideas I've suggested that although the mother is essential to the infant's capacity for fear regulation in the first year, in the second the father becomes critically involved in both the male and female toddler's aggression regulation.

But Professor Daniel Siegel says,

Others may say no, you do not have two primary attachment figures, but I think you can over time, within the same home. But those parents do different things. In divorce, having two primary attachment figures is probably different. I am not the person to ask about the gender question, because I have a peculiar aversion to gender-specific generalizations. I know there is neurobiological research that demonstrates differences. I just cannot get myself to take those findings seriously because of my own experience as a father, because of my own experience of my parents, because of my experience as a therapist. Both men and women have deep potentials for caring for infants.

kip
 

Kingsley Miller is the author of 'even Toddlers Need Fathers', a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in family courts, which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an, 'interesting and informative guide'. He has also received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating, 'It was thoughtful of you to enclose a copy of your book 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' and Her Majesty has noted your concerns'.
Samba said
 But seriously you are wasting precious time on these knuckleheads. Nothing you do or say, no amount of quoted studies or informed responses will get through to these people. They are fixed in hatred and ignorance.

…Thankfully the law has now started to protect us from these Neanderthals. So nerrrr sucked in wankers!:thumbs:
Stop being a moron every day, Samba as it's oppressive.


Kip, keep up the brilliant deconstruction of McIntosh's research advocacy.

I have seen no evidence presented for her findings other than his own prejudices. One must question why this nakedly, self-serving bull that would be laughed out of any self-respecting sociology faculty is being published in a family law journal, hardly peer-review, or independent since McIntosh co-authors & edits every article.


An alternate legal opinion
Limited, Flawed Study does little to back up the conclusions the Association drew

"Amazingly, the AAIMH guidelines are based on a single study completed in 2010 by Dr. Jennifer McIntosh and others.

Typical of McIntosh manipulation to a predetermined conclusion the sample surveyed is tiny and selective; only 258 children were considered. Of those, 174 (67.4%) had little or no contact with their fathers. Apart from illness 100% of the data are subjective, that is, the opinion of the Mother with no input from the non-custodial fathers.

Interestingly its methodology and findings do little to back up the conclusions the Association drew…  on irritability and visual monitoring, significant differences aren't present at all. A strange way to conduct a study not to include the children's fathers but the researchers overlook this gender bias

This raises the obvious question were the babies stressed because they spent the night with their non-custodial parent or because their custodial parent was stressed".



I think McIntosh is very good at what she does - she has clearly taken lessons from 'our' political masters.

Never commission a report/study unless you know or can control the result.

Oh yes, one other thing - always deliver a result that one's peers expect.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on the site (Look for the Avatars).   Be mindful what you post in the public areas. 
Crazyworld said
Just because parents agree to 50/50 and do not end up in the Court doesn't mean they have a great relationship either, they no doubt would have stayed together if they did.  

This is very true, most parents I know that don't have court orders don't have a good relationship. Most are quite hostile, many are not in court because they cannot afford it or because they are unable to mentally cope with the process. Any couple that separates also face very lengthy waiting times in regard to the whole mediation process & court process before a judge even makes a decision. If one was to believe the study by McIntosh & the guidelines that resulted from it, it appears that it's not only a 50/50 care that may damage an infant/toddler but any over nights (unless necessary), so why is a blind eye being turned to non-court parents? If they are damaging their kids, shouldn't it be seen as a welfare issue?.
Sorry for not getting involved in the debate too much. I must thank April for her posts as she has clearly explained how the profeminists have influenced the family court.

With the latest Legislative changes we can now clearly see the agenda to entrench the mother as the primary caregiver or controller. A father will now have no chance at having a meaningful relationship with his children if the mother thinks it's not in their best interests.

Even April acknowledges the wonder of why children end up with their father when they are older. She prefers to say that it's because that is the right time he can provide for their needs. We all know this is a load of crock and that he could always provide for their needs and it's largely due to the emotional abuse the mother has inflicted upon the children. In saying this many Fathers are also far from innocent.

The new legislation will now set precedents and cases that need to go to the family court so children can be protected from their abusive mothers will never happen. Frustrated fathers will have no other choice but to abandon their children as even court action will be seen as DV.

…and DOCS or DCP will continue to hide their abuse statistics from the public about mothers, rife abuse rates between Lesbians will continue to be denied, the high suicide rate of men will continue to be accepted as part of our normal attrition rate and not out of the ordinary, we will be told that women cannot commit DV, we will be told that fathers can never parent their children better than the mother, now we are told the father's input is not important in the first years of a child's life

….and the profeminist perspective will continue to be accepted as the best way to view the world and make laws etc… etc…

So yes keep on critiquing MacIntosh et al! I would be there but I have a tribe of kids around me 24/7 to care for an don't have time to even find a good reference.
All,

However much I enjoy posting in Australia it is not my job, unfortunately, therefore I cannot spend as much time as I would like on the forum.

My priority it analyzing informaion and trying to put it into meaningful context for ordinary parents, particularly fathers, usually in the form of YouTUBE video clips.

However I see APRIL's postings on neuroscience,

Complicating the issue of care arrangements for babies and infants is biological neuroscience. The first year of life is a critical one for neural development. The baby's task is to make sense of it's world. It learns day from night, hungry from satisfied, what the wiggly things are on the end of it's arm and all manner of things we take for granted. The baby does not have a favourite parent. It has a biological drive to have it's basic needs met and does this by forming a connection to the person who meets it's needs the most frequently. Attachment is not exactly the same as an emotional bond. A baby may form an emotional bond with many people. Attachment is more related to the baby having it's basic needs met in a predictable and consistent way. Once that is achieved the baby can be content and feel safe to explore it's environment and learn about the world around it secure in the knowledge that it's basic needs will be fulfilled when needed.

I hope most have had an opportunity to see my posting about the two experts on neuroscience who contributed to Dr McIntoshes Special Edition in Family Court Review journal. One the 'American Bowlby' who Dr McIntosh cites in her introduction and summary. And the other who says that attachment roles are totally gender neutral who Dr McIntosh ignores.

I have just gone back through the thread and seen that APRIL disagrees with my comments about the term 'security' and how we go about assessing it. I quote APRIL at length because I think it is important;

Kip, you have found the following sentence in an abstract for a paper published in a journal of child psychology and psychiatry (full reference given in my previous post) and taken it completely out of context. It was from Rutter and colleagues work and the quote is -

It is seriously misleading to view all of these patterns through the lens of security/insecurity

You have interpreted that line to mean that Rutter et al are suggesting that security is not a measure of health and happiness in children and that we are all being misled. In other words you are using this quote to refute what McIntosh said.

WRONG.

Background - there are different types of attachment styles. An infant who has/her basic needs met in a reasonably predictable way is usually found to have a secure attachment style. Other infants experience inconsistent treatment from their caregiver or are abused or neglected. These infants are usually found to have an insecure attachment style. Note this is not about fear, just a word used to describe a style of attachment. However, lumping all of these insecurely attached types together under the one heading of insecure can be problematic from a classification and assessment point of view. So if all insecurely attached infants are studied as a sub group together, misleading outcomes occur in research and understanding. We know that infants with poor attachment (e.g. because they are abused or neglected or because their carer is a drug addict etc) exhibit disturbing symptoms. However, studying all insecurely attached infants as though they all have the same problem leads to statistically misleading correlations with subsequent psychopathology or disorders. Therefore, the next step is to understand and refine further the classification of different types of insecure attachment for the purposes of more accurate analysis of outcomes, and this process has been evolving for some time now. Rutter et al were contributing to this broadening of understanding attachment styles beyond secure/insecure. If you read the whole abstract (at least) you can see that was the purpose of the research.

To make it clear, Rutter et al were suggesting that it is misleading to consider attachment in such a simplified manner as secure/insecure as it lumps all insecure types together and does not recognise the variety of different insecure attachment styles (e.g. disinhibited) and that this over simplified secure/insecure classification is creating MISLEADING correlations and associations with subsequent psychopathology and psychological conditions. Your interpretation of the abstract you read is completely incorrect.

Kip, I am not in an ongoing discussion/dialogue/debate with you and I am concerned you are enjoying my posts. I respond to what you write because I know much of what you write is misleading and I am so concerned that the polite but grossly misinformed point of view you constantly present will be interpreted by people who read your posts as some legitimate alternative understanding. I am particularly concerned that you are now seeking support from the SPCA to lend legitimacy to your campaign. You make you tube videos as though you are some authority on the topic, but what you say in those videos is misleading.

I strongly urge the SPCA to be cautious about associating their good reputation with this man who is not qualified in any way as a psychologist/psychiatrist, who has not done research in the field, who selects bits and pieces of information that he finds on the internet and attempts to repackage them as some sort of cogent theory and who reduces any piece of contemporary research he does not agree with or understand to a debate about Bowlbys theories as they stood from the middle of last century.

I am distancing myself from any further discussions with Kip, because it appears that my attempts to correct his basic misunderstandings of research in this field are being interpreted by him as some type of legitimate debate on the topic.


I cite this account because one of my next videos will be on assessment and I should like to take this opportunity, in advance, to explain why I think it is such an important subject.

In the article I cite in my posting Rutter states, It is seriously misleading to view all of these patterns through the lens of security/insecurity and goes on to state,

The SSP has come to constitute what is generally accepted to be the gold standard measure of security in early life. It is noteworthy that, in all ordinary situations, a substantial proportion of infants (about one-third) do not display a secure attachment to their caregiver. Accordingly, everyone accepts that, in itself, insecurity is not an indication of disorder or even of maladjustment. A key proposition in the formulation of the concept of attachment security is that its development should be associated with parental sensitivity. In the event, although individual differences in security show a modest positive association (a correlation of .24) with parental sensitivity, most of the variance is not accounted for by this parental feature (De Wolff & van IJzendoorn, 1997). Attachment security does seem to be associated with the qualities of the parentchild relationship but the qualities are not adequately encompassed by the concept of sensitivity.

In her posting APRIL states, 'Other infants experience inconsistent treatment from their caregiver or are abused or neglected. These infants are usually found to have an insecure attachment style'. But as the extract from the original research shows this link does not follow. 'Insecurity is not an indication of disorder or even of maladjustment'.

to make the general point plainer, Patricia McKinsey Crittenden, Angelika Hartl Claussen and Kasia Kozlowska in the following paper on 'Choosing a Valid Assessment of Attachment for Clinical Use: A Comparative Study' state,

If applied in clinical settings, these three methods would result in very different groups of children being seen as safe and at risk. We argue that clinicians cannot afford to be uninformed about the validity of alternative means of assessing attachment.

http://www.iasa-dmm.or...ent%20of%20attachment.pdf

What is going on?

Really there is a clash of two competing ideologies.

There is the Bowlby theory of Maternal Deprivation in which 'experts' clearly set out developmental stages of a child's attachment.

In order to 'sell' an idea you need to prove it works. Bowlby's theory of Maternal Deprivation was based on bogus evidence about the child's relationship to the mother. So he moved the theory from the idea of 'mother' to the concept of a 'secure base' but with the same underlying assumptions.

To 'prove' this theory his protegee Mary Ainsworth came up with the Strange Situation Procedure SSP in which 'security' could be tested as a measure of attachment.

But as these studies show the SSP is not an accurate 'performance indicator' for maladjustment or neglect and challenges Bowlby's view that 'security' is any way an adequate measure of the happiness or well being of a child. (The traditional example, to which I refer in my video on the Strange Situation Procedure, is the differing results the test gives to children from different cultures eg Japan, Aborigines. The most up to date research uses institutionalised children to assess attachment according to the procedure with the same conclusions.) Underlying this alternative view is the belief that it is impossible to predict how somebody's attachment and personality will develop based on this procedure because we are all different.

Another way of looking at the SPP is that it is like watching to see if the cat washes behind its ears to tell whether it is going to rain.

Nevertheless there are institutions that make a profit based on Bowlby's theory, for example in the USA. If they cannot 'measure' their 'success' how are they ever going to convince parents to pay money for their advice? A measure is essential to 'prove' Bowlby's theory works.

Apropos, despite the help of the webmaster I am having terrible trouble formatting my posts  but I wanted to draw peoples' attention to another of Dr McIntoshes articles with Dr Alan Sroufe. He is a much respected figure but this article does him no great service. In it he defends Bowlby's concept of 'monotropy' ie only one primary caregiver.

But the really damaging quote is that men or fathers can't 'nurse'.

One of the key criticisms of Bowlby's theory is that is reinforces sexist stereotypes. Evenso I find this reference deeply upsetting and I should be grateful if anybody could explain if I have misinterpreted this statement?

Many thanks,

Kip

ARTICLE - DIVORCE AND ATTACHMENT RELATIONSHIPS: THE LONGITUDINAL JOURNEY (pages 464473) Alan Sroufe and Jennifer McIntosh

http://onlinelibrary.w...44-1617.2011.01384.x/full


VIDEO - Professor Alan Sroufe and Shared Parenting -Divorce and Attachment Relationships

http://youtu.be/dmwRGE535YI

PS I have added this biography to my website at;   http://www.eventoddlersneedfathers.com/

Kingsley Miller is a qualified and registered teacher. As well as a Teachers' Certificate he has a Masters Degree and a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methods. His own research focused on the environmental factors that influence 'league tables' in education. He has produced 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in UK family courts which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an 'interesting and informative guide'. The former Home Secretary, and father, David Blunkett, said  'I am very grateful to all those, like yourself who have written and particularly where you have been able to demonstrate your own thinking from the experiences you have had. Congratulations on your battle'. His two YouTUBE Channels have had over 800, 000 views. (The photograph was taken on the occasion of the 2010 Debate on Fatherhood held at the Houses of Parliament).

Last edit: by Kip


Kingsley Miller is the author of 'even Toddlers Need Fathers', a critique of the principle of 'Maternal Deprivation' as applied in family courts, which Professor Sir Michael Rutter described as an, 'interesting and informative guide'. He has also received a letter from Buckingham Palace stating, 'It was thoughtful of you to enclose a copy of your book 'even Toddlers Need Fathers' and Her Majesty has noted your concerns'.

Vagina Envy

As the sole mother of a 2 and a half year old child, whose father was entirely absent during the pregnancy and has done nothing but attempt, in every way possible, to undermine and contradict, control and dominate every significant preference i have expressed for the best interests of our child, since her birth, and having been dragged through the harrowing Family Law court system since the birth of our child, with no concern shown for the precarious health state of a pre-birth hospitalised mother and a syringe fed baby, amongst numerous other concerning factors, i  have been appalled by the realities of the Family Law Court and their 'equal shared responsibility" idea of healthy post-separation parenting that is so far removed in its logic from any healthy parenting practises in the world of happy and functionning families that i have witnessed, that i have spent all this time coming to terms with the fact that it is actually is as bad and often non child-focused and even mother-prejudiced as my first impressions lead me to believe.

Editor said
I think the above has to be the longest sentence on the site
Go Ms MacIntosh!!! As long as women have vaginas and breasts and babies are conceivdd and grow inside of our bodies and are best fed post-birth, from our bodies, then women will reign supreme in the child-bonding arena.

Intellectual, material, technological and even psychological advances and innovations will never out-do the Laws of Nature. And it is exactly the type of attitude that ignores this and attempts to render things unnatural, natural, that has lead to the mess we find ourselves in in the world, on all levels, today.

Women are the primary caretakers.  

Children, young ones in particular, just want to be with their mums. Maybe the law makers need to step out of their suits and their offices and law courts, spend some time with their own children instead of leaving them in child care or with their nannies, and head down to their local childrens park or schools at home time, where the reality of what's what in the child-care world are plain for all to see:young children just want to be with their mums, and mums, with our bodies and brains built for the complexities and demands of child-raising and nurturing, are the superior caretakers. Talk about 'vagina envy'! Guys, get over yourselves and stand up and start being MEN!!!!

Last edit: by Secretary SPCA

Guest said
 Guys, get over yourselves and stand up and start being MEN!!!!
 Based on your post, I understand that "being a man" obviously only means paying as much money as possible. Clearly, in my humble opinion, no man is envious of any vagina. Might want to review your faulty thinking.
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