Behavior Problems in Children Adopted from Psychosocially Depriving Institutions

Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (Impact Factor: 3.09). 05/2010; 38(4):459-70. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-009-9383-4
Source: PubMed


Behavior problems were investigated in 342 6- to 18-year-old children adopted from psychosocially depriving Russian institutions that provided adequate physical resources but not consistent, responsive caregiving. Results indicated that attention and externalizing problems were the most prevalent types of behavior problems in the sample as a whole. Behavior problem rates increased with age at adoption, such that children adopted at 18 months or older had higher rates than never-institutionalized children but younger-adopted children did not. There was a stronger association between age at adoption and behavior problems during adolescence than at younger ages at assessment. Children adopted from psychosocially depriving institutions had lower behavior problem rates than children adopted from severely depriving Romanian institutions in the 1990s. The implications of these results are that early psychosocial deprivation is associated with behavior problems, children exposed to prolonged early deprivation may be especially vulnerable to the developmental stresses of adolescence, and severe institutional deprivation is associated with a higher percentage of behavior problems after a shorter duration of exposure.

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    • "Differences for age at placement into families were generally infrequent, despite a literature that shows such effects are fairly common in general (Julian, 2013) and for Russian children in particular (Hawk & McCall, 2011;Merz & McCall, 2010Muhamedrahimov et al., 2014). An exception was that older-placed children had higher mean scores on all but one subscale of the CBCL than did children placed at younger ages, and they had an especially high percentage of extremely poor scores (46.7% vs. 21.1%) on the CBCL attention problems scale. "
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    ABSTRACT: A total of 149 children, who spent an average of 13.8 months in Russian institutions, were transferred to Russian families of relatives and nonrelatives at an average age of 24.7 months. After residing in these families for at least 1 year (average = 43.2 months), parents reported on their attachment, indiscriminately friendly behavior, social–emotional competencies, problem behaviors, and effortful control when they were 1.5–10.7 years of age. They were compared to a sample of 83 Russian parents of noninstitutionalized children, whom they had reared from birth. Generally, institutionalized children were rated similarly to parent-reared children on most measures, consistent with substantial catch-up growth typically displayed by children after transitioning to families. However, institutionalized children were rated more poorly than parent-reared children on certain competencies in early childhood and some attentional skills. There were relatively few systematic differences associated with age at family placement or whether the families were relatives or nonrelatives. Russian parent-reared children were rated as having more problem behaviors than the US standardization sample, which raises cautions about using standards cross-culturally.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2016 · Development and Psychopathology
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    • "Thus, previously institutionalized internationally adopted children as well as domestically adopted children are at high risk for behavioral problems (Groza & Ryan, 2002; Gunnar et al., 2007; Kočovská et al., 2012). Specifically, these behavioral problems can include internalizing behaviors (Fisher, Ames, Chisholm, & Savoie, 1997), externalizing behaviors (Hoksbergen, Rijk, vanDijkum, & ter Laak, 2004; Merz & McCall, 2010; Verhulst, 2000), attention problems (Groza, 1999; Gunnar et al., 2007; Merz & McCall, 2010), thought problems (Groza, 1999; Hoksbergen et al., 2004), and social problems (Gunnar et al., 2007; Hoksbergen et al., 2004). These behavioral problems can be intense and/or frequent (e.g., Groza & Ryan, 2002; Gunnar et al., 2007; MacLean, 2003; van der Vegt et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Children who have experienced early adversities are at risk for behavioral problems and trauma symptoms. Using a two-group, pre-post intervention design, the authors evaluated the effectiveness of an online parent training for Trust-Based Relational Intervention, a trauma-informed, attachment-based intervention, in reducing behavioral problems and trauma symptoms in at-risk adopted children. Children of parents in the treatment group (n = 48) demonstrated significant decreases in behavioral problems and trauma symptoms after intervention. Scores for children in a matched-sample control group did not change. Findings suggest this intervention can effectively reduce behavioral problems and trauma symptoms in children with histories of adversities.
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    • "The amount of tactile stimulation (i.e., licking) provided by the mother, as well as the relative amount of tactile stimulation provided to AR pups, moderates HPA axis activity (Francis & Meaney, 1999; Gonzalez et al., 2001; Levine, Huchton, Wiener, & Rosenfeld, 1991; Levy et al., 2003; Liu et al., 1997; Lovic & Fleming, 2004; Novakov & Fleming, 2005; Schanberg & Field, 2003; Ward, Xing, Carnide, Slivchak , & Wainwright, 2004). Higher levels of licking are associated with increased levels of glucocorticoid mRNA expression in the hippocampus, a key component of the negative feedback system of the HPA axis (Liu et al., 1997; Merz & McCall, 2010). Presumably rat pups that are licked more would be expected to have a more " adaptive " stress responses , recovering faster after stress exposure, although contradictory findings have been reported (Belay et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Building upon the transactional model of brain development, we explore the impact of early maternal deprivation on neural development and plasticity in three neural systems: hyperactivity/impulsivity, executive function, and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis functioning across rodent, nonhuman primate, and human studies. Recognizing the complexity of early maternal–infant interactions, we limit our cross-species comparisons to data from rodent models of artificial rearing, nonhuman primate studies of peer rearing, and the relations between these two experimental approaches and human studies of children exposed to the early severe psychosocial deprivation associated with institutional care. In addition to discussing the strengths and limitations of these paradigms, we present the current state of research on the neurobiological impact of early maternal deprivation and the evidence of sensitive periods, noting methodological challenges. Integrating data across preclinical animal models and human studies, we speculate about the underlying biological mechanisms; the differential impact of deprivation due to temporal factors including onset, offset, and duration of the exposure; and the possibility and consequences of reopening of sensitive periods during adolescence.
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