NUMBER 1179 • 4 JUNE • EFFECTS OF RESIDENTIAL CARE
INDEX

     Numerous studies have documented the impaired language, poor intelligence, disturbed behaviour, and indiscriminately overfriendliness which were observed frequently in children who had been reared in institutions (Ainsworth, 1962; Ferguson, 1966; Tizard & Rees, 1975; Yar­row, 1961). These effects were attributed to the impoverished environment of these settings since research had shown that when conditions in the institutions are improved there is little or no intellectual deficit in children reared in group care (Dennis, 1976; Skeels, 1966; Du Pan & Roth, 1955; Klackenberg, 1956; Tizard, Cooperman, Joseph & Tizard, 1972).

Nevertheless, although improvements in the quality of institutions have led to a very marked reduction, of cognitive deficits (Tizard & Hodges, 1978), the same benefits were not observed in social relationships. Thus, Kaler and Freeman (1994) found severe impairments in peer re­lationships in children aged 23 to 50 months living in a Romanian orphanage and Chisholm, Carter, Ames, and Morison (1995) showed that a pattern of social disinhibition persisted in many such children even after adoption into Canadian families. Similarly, the follow-up un­dertaken by Hodges and Tizard (1989a, b), to age 16 years of children who spent their first few years in an institution, found persisting differences in the quality of peer relationships, even in children who had later been adopted into well-functioning families.

The effect of institutionalization on emotional and social development of children have been attributed to the following factors:

Thus, the high rate of emotional and behavioural problems shown later may be a consequence of vulnerability deriving from a combination of genetic risks and seriously adverse experiences in early life. The question, therefore, arises as to whether such effects on children’s develop­ment and adjustment are the result of institutional upbringing per se, or of previous adverse experiences in the family which led to admission to group care. This is a most important question that remains unanswered, because in most of the published studies, the great majority of the children had been admitted to group homes either because of a breakdown in parenting or because of seriously adverse experiences at home. Moreover, longitudinal studies of children experiencing institutional care have shown that raised levels of disturbance are often evident before admission to the institutions (St. Claire & Osborn, 1987). In order to determine the effects of institutional care per se, it would be important to study the outcome of children ad­mitted to group care from less adverse home circumstances.

All the previously presented research concerning the effects of group care on children was derived from questionnaires or interviews. There was no information concerning children’s behaviour as observed in their natural environment. Furthermore, all the information regarding children raised in institutions came from only one setting. As a result it could not be deter­mined whether the behavioural features represented a pervasive tendency or, rather, a mal­adaptive response to particular situations.

 


PANAYIOTA VORRIA, JASMINA SARAFIDOU and ZAIRA PAPALIGOURA

Vorria, P., Sarafidou, J. and Papaligoura, Z. (2004). The effects of state care on children’s development: new findings, new approaches. International Journal of Child and Family Welfare, 2004,4. pp.168-183

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 References

AINSWORTH, M.D.S. (1962). The effects of maternal deprivation: A review of findings and controversy in the context of research strategy. In Deprivation of maternal care: a reassessment of it effects. World Health Organisation.

CHISHOLM, K., CARTER, M., AMES, E.W., & MORISON, S.J. (1995). Attachment security and indiscriminately friendly behaviour in children adopted from Romanian orphanages. Development and Psychopathology, 7, 283-294.

DENNIS, W. (1976). Children of the creche: Conclusions and implications. In A.M. Clark and M.D.B. Clark (Eds.) Early experience: Myth and evidence. London: Open Books

DU PAN, M., & ROTH, S. (1955). The psychological development of a group of children brought up in a hospital type residential nursery. Journal of Pediatrics, 47, 124-129.

FERGUSON, T. (1966). Children in care — and after. Oxford University Press.

HODGES, J., & TIZARD, B. (1989a). IQ and behavioural adjustment of ex-institutional adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30, 53-75.

HODGES, J., & TIZARD, B. (1989b). Social and family relationships of ex-institutional adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 30, 77-97.

KLACKENBERG, G. (1956). Studies in maternal deprivation in infants “homes”. Acta Pediatrica (Stockholm), 45, 1-12.

KALER, S.A., & FREEMAN, B.J. (1994). Analysis of environmental deprivation: Cognitive and social development in Romanian orphans. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 35, 769-781.

SKEELS, H.M. (1966). Adult status of children with contrasting early life experiences. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 31, 1-56.

SPANIER, G.B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15-28.

SPIELBERG, C.D., GORSUCH, R.L., & LUSHENE R.E. (1970). Manual for the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Paolo Alto, Calif. Consulting Psychologists Press.

STANLEY, F. (1988). Measures of Psychosocial Variables for the Pregnancy Home Visiting Program. Unpublished manuscript. University of Western Australia.

ST CLAIRE, L., & OSBORNE, A.F. (1987). The ability and behaviour of children who have been “in care” or separated from their parents. Early Child Development and Care, 28, whole issue. ---TIZARD, B., COOPERMAN, O., JOSEPH, A., & TIZARD, J. (1972). Environmental effects on language development: A study of young children in long-stay residential nurseries. Child Development, 43, 337-358.

TIZARD, B., & HODGES, J. (1978). The effect of early institutional rearing on the development of eight-year-old children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 19, 99-11 8.

TIZARD, B. & REES, J. (1975). The effects of early institutional rearing on the behaviour problems and affectional relationships of four-year-old children. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 16, 61-73.

WOLKIND, S.N., & RUTTER, M. (1973). Children who have been “in care” — an epidemiological study. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 14, 97-107.

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