Romanian Orphans Study

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  • Romanian Orphans
    • Rutter's ERA (English & Romanian Adoptee
      • Aim: to investigate what extent good care could make up for poor early experiences in institutions.
        • Procedure: followed 165 Romanian orphans, adopted in Britain.  
          • Physical, cognitive, and emotional development was assessed at ages 4, 6, 11, 15. 52
            • British kids adopted at roughly the same time was used as a control group.
          • Findings: when first arrived, showed signs of mental retardation and malnourishment. 
            • Rate of recovery related to age of adoption.
              • IQ adopted before 6 months= 102, after 6 months= 86, after 2 years=77.
                • Disinhibited attachment occurred if adopted after 6 months.
      • Conclusion: the negative effects of institutionalisation can be overcome by nurture
  • AO3
    • Research is internally valid
      • research before this had confounding variables
        • kids could have been traumatised
      • romanian orphans had not experienced these confounding variables
        • means rutter could research them
    • Research has useful application
      • led to improvements to how kids are cared for in institutions
        • eg multiple caregivers are avoided
          • avoids disinhibited attachments and helps make normal attachments
            • Shows the research is extremely valuable  with practical application 
    • Lacks generalisability
      • conditions were so bad that it may not be representative of other institutions. 
        • This means this could only be used for extreme cases of institutions.
          • Situational variables mean it cannot be generalised
    • research has its own confounding variable
      • kids were not randomly allocated to groups
        • The kids that were adopted early may have been the more sociable ones
          • means the age of adoption may not combat the effects of institutionalisation.
            • Random allocation will stop this confounding variable.
    • long term effects aren't clear
      • We only know up until follow ups are conducted. 
        • We have to wait the kid’s whole life before we know if there are any other effects that have not been discovered.


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