Social
deprivation is a term used to describe the reduction, exclusion or prevention
of normal, cultural interaction between an individual and the rest of
society.  An individual may become
socially deprived due to circumstances such as; poverty mental health abuse neglect
drug and alcohol addiction poor education, all of which can lead to a path way
of isolation and severe deprivation from society.

 A socially deprived child may be a child
without proper parental care or control, subsistence, and have to live with
various aspects of neglect, the absence of an optimal environment, education as
required by law, the necessary care or control for mental, physical or emotion
health and well-being. There are many more bias that may lead to an individual
or individuals becoming socially deprived.  

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There are
some extreme rare cases of children being brought up in the wild and who have
suffered severe social deprivation. These children are known as feral children.
` Victor; the wild boy of Aveyron was one of these children. ` It was reported
that Victor was found at approximately twelve years old, he couldn’t speak and
acted like a wild animal.  ` Jean Itard,
the doctor who took responsibility for Victor, wanted to prove that social
development was shaped by early social experience and not inborn. ` (Open
university 2014).  Philosophers and
anatomists took great interest in Victor. 
The outcome of the study had no clear outcome, as little progress was
made in his social and emotional development. 
Also, there was not enough information and knowledge known about
Victor’s past.   It was reported that
Victor was unable to use language to communicate.  Itard, shared the same view as philosopher
John Locke, believing in the theory (The Blank Slate). ` Locke believed that we
are all born equal, that the human mind at birth is white paper, void of all
characters and formed by understanding and experience. ` www.nct.org.uk/child/development.

The cases of
feral children have given us an insight and better understanding about the
importance of nature and nurture in children’s development.  Social and emotional development is shaped by
the nurture and nature a baby, child receives.

Social
deprivation may potentially impact on the social development and experience of
a child if they are subjected to deprivation at a young age.  The lack of early social and emotional
interactions can impact on the child as the brain is growing and processing at
a rapid rate and the child will not develop normally if they are not
nurtured.  Rapid brain growth occurs in
early infancy. This is a critical time and will impact on how other parts of
the brain responsible for learning and emotional well- being are developed and
how the effects will impact in later life. 
The lack of social interactions will delay the development of social
skills like language and the ability to deal with emotional problems such as
stress.  If the baby, child does not
receive stimulation, specific social skills and interactions at sensitive
periods in infancy and childhood, they will struggle to develop these later in
life. 

Early
philosophers argued and had fixed views about genetic make-up and environment,
impacting and shaping children’s development. 
Montgomery (2014) pg 53, (Open university). The debate has gone on since
ancient Greece.  There is no clear-cut
answer, but evidence from the Romanian orphanages suggested that the longer a
child was deprived, the more severe the consequences were on social and
emotional development.  It was reported
that some older children had totally shut down from society and appeared to be
autistic or suffered from severe mental development issues.   Babies who were adopted at an early age from
the orphanage made more progress in their social and emotional development and
suffered less impact in adulthood. Although the nature, nurture debate is
complex, child development seems to need both factors to develop healthy social
and emotional development in infancy/childhood, this leading into
well-developed young people /adults who socially, / emotionally and culturally
fit in with society.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational
theory based on a hierarchy of needs.  Maslow stated, ` that people are motivated to
achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. ` The
levels can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. Deficiency needs
arise due to deprivation.  According to
Maslow, the lower level basic needs must be met before progress can be made to
a higher level.  Physiological needs,
safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, cognitive needs,
aesthetic needs and self -activation are the tiers on the triangle.   Adults
who care for children have been encouraged to meet their holistic welfare needs,
rather than on their specific basic needs.