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The rise and rise of Jennifer McIntosh PhD - FAMILY COURT REVIEW

All,

For those who are interested this post concerns my attacks on guidelines that advocate an 'ascending ladder' of contact based on Bowlby's discredited 'maternal deprivation' theory. Altough I live in England I have written to the Australian Attorney General with the support of with the support of the Shared Parenting Council of Australia SPCA- http://www.eventoddlers.biz.nf/spca1.html about Jennifer McIntosh who also produced such a set of guidelines. I also appeared on an Australian radio programme to 'rubbish' them.

I have just been informed the same journal has published letters which roughly reinforce what was said on the radio programme. I think! (Please read to the end to see comment regarding fathers

VIDEO / RADIO PROGRAMME - Research on Babies and Toddlers Contact with Fathers.wmv

http://youtu.be/e7lOBHnZlcc

A WASTED OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE WITH THE LITERATURE ON THE IMPLICATIONS OF ATTACHMENT RESEARCH FOR FAMILY COURT PROFESSIONALS

Michael E. Lamb*

The Family Court Review Special Issue edited by McIntosh provided a misleadingly narrow view of attachment theory and of previous attempts to explore the implications of that theory and related research for family court professionals. For example, the editor chose to interview professionals whose opinions seemed likely to accord with hers, and when they dissented, she failed to explore the implications. She thus represented Bowlby's notion of monotropy as though it was an established and accepted fact; neither the research (which shows the idea to be incorrect) nor Bowlby's own later disavowal of the idea were addressed, although the implications are profound. More generally, the extensive relevant scholarship was ignored and unrepresented, leaving the unchallenged focus on the editor's own research and on opinions that accord with her own. As a result, the Special Issue became a platform for opinion, rather than a forum for critical examination of the literature.
Key Points for the Family Court Community:

Most children in two-parent families form attachments to both of their parents at the same stage in their development.

Relationships with both their mother and father profoundly affect children's adjustment, whether or not they live together.

Professionals need to be careful when generalizing from research which may have involved families in circumstances quite unlike those experienced by the individuals they are trying to assist.

THE SPECIAL ISSUE ON ATTACHMENT: OVERREACHING THEORY AND DATA

Pamela S. Ludolph*

The Family Court Review Special Issue edited by McIntosh focused on the views of traditional attachment theorists, neglecting to interview more progressive thinkers or put many thought-provoking questions to the traditionalists. The advances in attachment research in the last half century were little acknowledged. Among the unexplored research findings were the discovery that early attachment status can change, often as a result of negative life events; that maternal deprivation and other early losses are recoverable; and that infants do not require one primary caregiver to thrive. The notion that young children should not have overnight stays with their fathers was presented as fact, when little convincing research exists on the question.
Key Points for Family Court Community:

The Family Court Review Special Issue presented the views of traditional attachment theorists.

More contemporary views of attachment were not presented in a balanced way.

Among the ideas supported by current attachment research that were insufficiently addressed are:

Early attachment does not uniquely determine later functioning.

Early losses are generally recoverable.

Infants and young children form multiple attachments and generally are attached to both their mothers and fathers.

Current research is sparse and provides no convincing support for the idea that young children should have little or no overnight time with their fathers.

LINK TO JOURNAL

This takes you to the index

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28ISSN%291744-1617/earlyview

Then select the appropriate abstract.

McIntosh was got her reply in and there are other articles supporting her point of view citing Bowlby.

Many thanks,

Kingsley or 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'.
What court are you talking about? It doesn't look like it is the Australian Courts.

Executive Secretary - Shared Parenting Council of Australia
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Jenn McIntosh edited a special edition of Family Court Review.

SPCA Secretary,

Jenn McIntosh edited a special edition of Family Court Review.

These ideas formed the basis of her 'Toddlers Guidelines' she recommended for Australian courts.

Pamela S. Ludolph and Michael Lamb criticised this Special Edition as narrow minded and failing to engage with the literature. This is code for 'rubbish'. It should follow that if the ideas she based her guidelines on are rubbish, the guidelines must also be rubbish.

I spent some time showing this connection in a posting which you then moved elsewhere.

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'.
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