Article

Normality and impairment following profound early institutional deprivation: a longitudinal follow-up into early adolescence.

Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London, England. .
Developmental Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.21). 07/2007; 43(4):931-46. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1649.43.4.93
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Longitudinal analyses on normal versus impaired functioning across 7 domains were conducted in children who had experienced profound institutional deprivation up to the age of 42 months and were adopted from Romania into U.K. families. Comparisons were made with noninstitutionalized children adopted from Romania and with nondeprived within-U.K. adoptees placed before the age of 6 months. Specifically, the validity of the assessment, the degree of continuity and change in levels of functioning from 6 to 11 years, and the factors in the pre- and postadoption environment accounting for heterogeneity in outcome were examined. Pervasive impairment was significantly raised in children experiencing institutional deprivation for > or =6 months of life, with a minority within this group showing no impairment. There was no additional significant effect of duration of deprivation beyond the 6-month cutoff, and few other predictors explained outcome. The pattern of normality/impairment was mainly established by 6 years of age, with considerable continuity at the individual level between 6 and 11 years. The findings are discussed in terms of the possibility of a sensitive period for development.

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