Romanian orphan studies: effects of instutionalisation (Evaluation…
Romanian orphan studies: effects of instutionalisation
Institutionalisation - the effect of institutional care. The term can be applied widely to the effects of an institution but our concern focuses specifically on how time spent in an institution such as an orphanage can affect the development of children. The possible effects may be irreversible.
Key study: Rutter and Sonuga-Barke (2010)
Study of group of Romanian orphans since the early 1990's
165 Romanian children who spent their early lives in Romanian institutions and thus suffered from the effects of institutionalisation.
111 were adopted before the age of 2 years and a further 54 by the age of four
The adoptees have been tested at regular intervals to assess their physical, cognitive ans social development.
The progress has been compared to a control group of 52 British children adopted in the UK before the age of six months
Romanian orphans lagged behind their British counterparts on all measures of physical, cognitive and social development.
By the age of four, some of the children had caught with their British counterparts.
Many of those orphans adopted after six months showed dis inhibited attachments and had problems with peer relationships.
other studies of Romanian orphans
Le Mare and Audet (2006) found that children adopted into families in Canada mostly had issues with their physical development
Zenah et al. (2005) compared 136 Romanian children who had, on average spent 90% of their lives in an institution, to a control group of Romanian children who had never been in an institution . The children were aged 12-31 months and were assessed in the Strange Situation. The institutionalized children showed signs of dis inhibited attachment.
Effects of institutionalisation
Dis inhibited attachement
Values of longitudinal studies
Deprivation is only one factor
Institutionalisation may be just be slow development