Motherless Mothers, Violence & Brain disorders
After fifty years Attachment Theory is no longer a theory. Decades of research confirm; the nature and quality of a human being’s earliest relationships shape the body and the brain for a lifetime.
An epidemic of unprecedented violence exploded in the late 1960’s. On 17 Oct 1983 Congress established the mission of the NICHD/NIH to study the special health problems and requirements of mothers and children..."( PL 87-838 Sec 441). Then Secretary of State Casper Weinberger directed the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD ) to investigate the roots of violence in early childhood with a threat of setting fiscal obligations for these studies James W. Prescott, PhD., along with other leading brain and behavior researchers lead the way in identifying the source, summarized as failure of government and society to support women as nurturing mothers.
Specifically their research identified affectionate touch, movement and implicitly breastfeeding as the dominate sensory experiences, or their absence, that predisposed a child to a lifetime of attachment disorders; pathological anger, rage, addiction, various forms of stress-hormonal chronic illness, including cancer, attention issues and more, or a lifetime free of these disorders. The conclusions of this vast body brain/behavior research, spanning over fifteen years, was so politically challenging that Dr. Prescott was unlawfully dismissed and his research repressed.
In this post Prescott informs the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in conjunction with New York Academy of Sciences and the 5th Annual Aspen Brain Forum Conference Shaping the Developing Brain: Prenatal through Early Childhood., November 11 – 13, 2014 of this research and its direct bearing on the subject of that gathering.
In a letter to Dr, Thomas R. Insel, Director NIMH, (October 25, 2014) Dr. Prescott informed him and his sponsors of the significant scientific breakthroughs made by the NICHD on brain-behavioral damage to the infrahuman primate by mother-infant separation (1960s and 1970s). These studies are outlined in his letter to Dr. Insel with a request that he bring this information to the attention of the Conference participants.
PDF of Prescott’s Letter to Dr. Insel