A critical assessment of cultural deprivation reveals that the theory was based on experiments derived from maternal and sensory deprivation. Respected psychoanalysts, including John Bowlby and Rene Spitz, helped to establish the negative psychological effects of depriving a mother from her child. Sensory deprivation research focused on the psychological effects of environmental restriction and was viewed as complementary to maternal deprivation. In contrast to maternal and sensory deprivation, however, cultural deprivation was neither a distinct scientific field nor based on empirical evidence. Herein lies one of the central tenets of What’s Wrong With the Poor: cultural deprivation theory, which informed the decisions of federal policy makers but lacked empirical validation, was often used interchangeably with race- and class-specific descriptions of maternal and sensory deprivation. Cultural deprivation theory could have been revised by considering alternative sources of environmental and familial nurturance, such as social support through extended kinship networks, which are common among African American families. Raz asserts that cultural deprivation is no longer an accepted term in discussions about mental health and public policy. Thus, it is improbable that future experiments will ever be conducted to rigorously test and potentially revise cultural deprivation theory.