Effects of Early Deprivation on the Development of Institutionalised Children

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Effects of Early Deprivation on the Development of Institutionalised Children Abstract Deprivation is defined as a reduced fulfillment of an essential desire or need. Studies on the development of children reared in institutions and orphanages help us to look at the effects of deprivation. Institutionalised children are reported to perform poorly on intelligence tests and to be slow learners with specific difficulties in language and social development, in comparison to orphaned children. They also have problems concentrating and forming emotional relationships, and are often described as attention seeking. Children who are exposed to institutions for a sensitive period,…show more content…
There was a marked catch-up in psychological functioning for these children in the first few years after adoption, however, significant problems continued in a substantial minority of the children placed after the age of 6 months (Rutter, Colvert, Kreppner, Beckett, Groothues, Hawkins, O’Connor, Stevens, Sonuga-Burke, 2007a). At age 11 quasi-autistic patterns were seen in over 1 in 10 of the children who experienced profound institutional deprivation (Rutter, Kreppner, Croft, Murin, Colvert, Beckett, Castle, Sonuga-Burke, 2007b). The results from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) also indicated that children removed from institutions and placed in foster care displayed higher IQ scores compared to children who remained in institutions and that those removed prior to 24 months showed sustained but not robust gains in IQ (Fox, Almas, Degna, Nelson, & Zeanah, 2011). Dennis (1973) and Kagan (1979) suggested a similar sensitive period, after which the effects of institutional deprivation would be irreversible. However, in the BEIP study there were no children who were less than 6 months of age at the time of placement into foster case. Therefore, the timing (age) of intervention cannot directly be compared between these studies. However, there may be different sensitive
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