Research request about ‘negative mothering’

Michelle Linger, the Director of St Michael’s Child and Youth Centre, in Plumstead, Cape Town, South Africa, has sent us the following request.

I was just enquiring if anybody has done any extensive research on the impact of either the complete lack of mothering on young girls or “negative mothering” on young girls. I am the director of a facility for young girls aged 13yrs to 18yrs and before this appointment spent many years in the field of child and youth care and have noticed the impact that mothers have on their daughters.This said I am concerned that we are perhaps not doing enough with regards to this issue to safeguard young girls who grow up in care and are therefore never really mothered correctly and I have come to the conclusion that you cannot mother yourself or anybody else that you might bring into this world if you haven’t been mothered yourself.

Michelle can be contacted at