There is uncertainty about the extent to which language skills are part of general intelligence and even more uncertainty on whether deprivation has differential effects on language and non-language skills.
Language and cognitive outcomes at 6 and 11 years of age were compared between a sample of 132 institution-reared Romanian children adopted into UK families under the age of 42 months, and a sample of 49 children adopted within the UK under the age of 6 months who had not experienced either institutional rearing or profound deprivation.
The effects of institutional deprivation were basically similar for language and cognitive outcomes at age 6; in both there were few negative effects of deprivation if it ended before the age of 6 months and there was no linear association with duration of deprivation within the 6 to 42 month range. For the children over 18 months on arrival (range 18-42 months), the presence of even very minimal language skills (imitation of speech sounds) at the time of arrival was a strong beneficial prognostic factor for language and cognitive outcomes, but not for social/emotional/behavioural outcomes. Individual variations in adoptive parent characteristics were unrelated to differences in language or cognitive outcomes, possibly as a consequence of the limited variability in the adoptive family group.
Minimal language probably indexes some form of cognitive reserve that, in turn, indexes the degree of institutional deprivation.
"It is characterized by a pattern of diffuse attachment, indiscriminate sociability, and by overfriendly attention, comfort seeking and affectionate behavior directed toward unfamiliar people  (for review see ). Even after several years of placement in adoptive families, a significant number of children who spent their early years in depriving orphanages continue to show mild to high levels of indiscriminate behavior . Although strong empirical evidence showing that adverse contextual conditions – like institutionalization – promote attachment disorders , not all institutionalized children develop DSED. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Institutionalization adversely impacts children's emotional functioning, proving related to attachment disorders, perhaps most notably that involving indiscriminate behavior, the subject of this report. In seeking to extend work in this area, this research on gene X environment (GXE) interplay investigated whether the serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and val66met Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) polymorphisms moderated the effect of institutional care on indiscriminate behavior in preschoolers. Eighty-five institutionalized and 135 home-reared Portuguese children were assessed using Disturbances of Attachment Interview (DAI). GXE results indicated that s/s homozygotes of the 5-HTTLPR gene displayed significantly higher levels of indiscriminate behavior than all other children if institutionalized, something not true of such children when family reared. These findings proved consistent with the diathesis-stress rather than differential-susceptibility model of person×environment interaction. BDNF proved unrelated to indiscriminate behavior. Results are discussed in relation to previous work on this subject of indiscriminate behavior, institutionalization and GXE interaction.
"Fewer interventions have been attempted for dyscalculia, but the reported successes have also been targeted at this young age group (Kucian et al., 2011; Rasanen et al., 2009; Wilson et al., 2009). The experience of atypical deprived environments are being demonstrated by adopted children from institutions in Romania who, if they had experienced these environments beyond the age of 6 months, were mostly demonstrating impaired functioning in follow up studies when aged 11 years (Kreppner et al., 2007; Rutter et al., 2007). Again, early interventions have been shown to greatly improve the cognitive, linguistic, and emotional effects of such impoverished experiences (Ghera et al., 2009; Nelson et al., 2007; Windsor et al., 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Economic models of investment in human capital sometimes refer to neuroscience as a means to support their underlying assumptions regarding human development. These assumptions have a crucial influence on the policy implications the models generate. We review the extent to which the neuroscience of development can be used to support a "learning begets learning" principle of human capital accumulation. We conclude that, although early neural development can be considered as foundational, it cannot be considered as a unitary phenomenon that proceeds in continuous fashion. Furthermore, the concept of the sensitive period, which is often used associated with the principle, suggests benefits of investment depend upon an individual's circumstances and developmental history, and particularly whether this can be classified as normal. A more recent model of investment has involved two different types of abilities, with outcomes demonstrating the value of including more sophisticated assumptions about human development. We conclude that, while current discussions of policy would benefit from a more careful interpretation of existing models, the potential for future work combining modern neuroscientific understanding with economic theory is considerable.
"Older age at placement has been associated with high scores on the Child Behavior Checklist (Gunnar et al., 2007; Logan, Morrall, & Chambers, 1998) and problem behaviors in adolescence (Hjern, Lindblad, & Vinnerljung, 2002; Kim, 2002). Children adopted internationally before 6 months of age have outcomes similar to domestically adopted children (Croft et al., 2007). However , some studies have not found an effect of age at placement on academic achievement (Dalen, 2001; Dalen & Rygvold, 2006), internalizing symptoms, or externalizing behaviors (Rosnati, Montirossa, & Barni, 2008). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study used a risk and resilience perspective and the catch-up model of adoption to analyze data from the National Survey of Adoptive Parents for 701 adopted adolescents. Structural equation models showed that better parent-child relationship quality was significantly associated with reduced odds of skipping school, being suspended, and reporting substance abuse or police trouble, when demographic variables and the pre-placement abuse/neglect factor were controlled. Better parent-child relationships also were associated with better performance in language arts, but not in mathematics. In general, few differences in the pattern of significant relationships were observed for a transracial adoptee subset of adolescents.
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