Institutionalisation

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  • Institutionalisation
    • Introduction
      • Definition: Behaviour patterns of children who have been raised in institutions e.g orphanages
      • Effects are physical/intellectual/emotional
      • Disinhibited attachment: Behaviour shown by children who have been raised in institutions and are desperate for attention. Clingy, attention seeking. Indiscriminate social interaction with adults
    • Rutter's study
      • 165 Romanian orphans tested to what extent good care could make up for poor early experiences in institutions
      • Assessed at ages 4, 6, 11, 15. Group of 52 British children adopted around the same time (control group)
      • Physical effects: Majority severely undernourished, smaller, weighed less, stunted growth
      • Intellectual effects: Half showed signs of mental retardation, IQ of children adopted before 6m 102, between 6m-2yrs 86, after 2yrs 77.
      • Effects on attachment: Adopted after 6m- disinhibited, attention seeking, clingy. Before 6m- rarely displayed disinhibited attachment
      • Effects of institutionalisation worse longer children there
      • Effects not reversible, but children can adapt and develop later on
      • Natural experiment- Participants naturally occurring in different conditions, researcher didn't influence who got adopted when
    • Bucharest Early Intervention- Zeanah (2005)
      • Children who had never been institutionalsied displayed 'normal' behaviour- 74% securely attached
      • 19% institutionalised children securely attached, 65% displaying disorganised attachment
      • Being institutionalised for long period of time has a negative effect on development
      • 44% institutionalised children have disinhibited attachment, 20% control group
    • Evaluation
      • Longitudinal study- offers account of behaviour changing over time, how other children display similar/different behaviour
      • Real liife application: Each child given key worker, main/only carer. Children form attachment with them, prevents deprivation
      • If attachment formed with mother then child adopted, may suffer from MD which causes psychological problems. Children being adopted as early as possible ensures only one attachment is formed
      • RO study not representative- not all orphanages are bad, results cannot be applied to all cases
      • Later in life, orphans could struggle to form attachments with partners/children- long term effetcs
      • Childrens intelligence/appearance/age could have effected whether they were adopted earlier/later

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