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


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.

Download full-text


Available from: Thomas G O'Connor,
1 Follower
200 Reads
  • Source
    • "Between-studies comparisons have revealed that higher rates of behavioral problems occur for those adopted after 6 to 24 months than for earlier adoptees (Hawk & McCall, 2011; Julian, 2013). Children from globally depriving Romanian institutions internationally adopted after 6 months show a heightened risk of later behavioral problems than do those adopted before 6 months (Kreppner et al., 2007). Studies of the parent-reported behavioral functioning of children from socioemotionally depriving institutions of the Russian Federation adopted into advantaged American families have found that children adopted before 18 months had significantly lower problem scores than did children adopted after 18 months of age (Hawk & McCall, 2011; Merz & McCall, 2010). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Behavior problems were studied in fifty 5- to 8-year-old children transferred from a socioemotionally depriving Russian institution to domestic families. Results indicated that the postinstitutional (PI) sample as a whole had higher clinical/borderline behavior problem rates on the parent-reported Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 6-18 (T.M. Achenbach & L.A. Rescorla, 2001) aggressive and lower rates on the withdrawn/depressed and internalizing problems scales than did non-institutionalized (non-I) children reared in Russian families. Compared with the U.S. standardization sample, PI children had significantly higher rates for aggressive, externalizing, and social problems; the non-I children had higher rates for withdrawn/depressed and internalizing problems; and both groups had higher rates for rule-breaking behavioral problems. PI children placed in domestic families at 18 months or older had higher rates of problems than did the U.S. non-I standardization sample, but children placed at younger ages did not. PI children transferred to nonbiological families had lower rates of problems compared to U.S. norms than did children transferred to biological families. Thus, prolonged early socioemotional deprivation was associated with a higher percentage of behavior problems in children placed in domestic families, especially if transferred to biological families. © 2014 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.
    Infant Mental Health Journal 03/2014; 35(2). DOI:10.1002/imhj.21435 · 0.61 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Much of the existing research literature has come from studies of children reared in institutions and there is now no doubt that emotional neglect in early life places children at risk of a wide range of problems including reactive attachment disorder (RAD) (characterised by indiscriminate friendliness and/or hypervigilance and emotional withdrawal); attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (characterised by poor concentration, impulsivity, and overactivity); posttraumatic stress disorder (characterised by flashbacks, nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of traumatic events); depression and anxiety [7–9]. Similar findings have emerged from longitudinal studies of children maltreated within a family context [10]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a new concept-maltreatment associated psychiatric problems (MAPP)-a syndrome of overlapping complex neurodevelopmental problems in children who have experienced abuse or neglect in early life. Children with MAPP are a hidden population in the community and, in clinical settings, their problems can seem overwhelming. Individual disorders associated with maltreatment are discussed as well as the overlap between these disorders and their shared environmental and genetic predisposing factors. Because of the complex and overlapping nature of MAPP, with symptoms emerging in early life, I argue that it should be considered an example of ESSENCE. Children presenting with likely MAPP should receive a comprehensive assessment, probing for symptoms of all of the ESSENCE disorders and leading to the use of evidence-based treatments where these are available.
    The Scientific World Journal 04/2013; 2013(6):148468. DOI:10.1155/2013/148468 · 1.73 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "For example, of the 15 studies of one sample from the ERA Study Team, only 3 included information about children's prenatal and birth experience. But with one exception (Bos et al. 2009), studies have not found a relationship between birth variables and outcome variables (Kreppner et al. 2007; Merz and McCall 2010, 2011; Sonuga-Barke et al. 2008). Of the set of 65 studies, 17 did not indicate whether children were reared in an institution; when possible, authors of these studies were contacted for further information, and information was obtained for 12 of these articles. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the major questions of human development is how early experience impacts the course of development years later. Children adopted from institutional care experience varying levels of deprivation in their early life followed by qualitatively better care in an adoptive home, providing a unique opportunity to study the lasting effects of early deprivation and its timing. The effects of age at adoption from institutional care are discussed for multiple domains of social and behavioral development within the context of several prominent developmental hypotheses about the effects of early deprivation (cumulative effects, experience-expectant developmental programming, and experience-adaptive developmental programming). Age at adoption effects are detected in a majority of studies, particularly when children experienced global deprivation and were assessed in adolescence. For most outcomes, institutionalization beyond a certain age is associated with a step-like increase in risk for lasting social and behavioral problems, with the step occurring at an earlier age for children who experienced more severe levels of deprivation. Findings are discussed in terms of their concordance and discordance with our current hypotheses, and speculative explanations for the findings are offered.
    Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review 04/2013; 16(2). DOI:10.1007/s10567-013-0130-6 · 4.75 Impact Factor
Show more