Describe and evaluate research into institutionalisation 12 mark essay plan

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Describe and evaluate research into institutionalisation (12 marks)
Point 1 Rutter's ERA (English and Romanian Adoptee) study
o followed a group of 165 Romanian orphans adopted in Britain to test what good
care could make to a poor early experience in institutions
o Physical, cognitive and emotional development was all tested at ages of 4, 6, 11
and 15
o Group of 52 British children adopted around the same time were used as a control
o Half the adoptees when first arrived in the UK showed signs of retardation,
majority were undernourished
o Age 11 the adopted children showed differential rates of recovery that were
related to their age of adoption
o Mean IQ of those children adopted before the age of 6 months was 102
o Between six months and two years was 86
o 77 for those adopted after two years
Children adopted after 6 months showed disinhibited attachment
o Attention seeking
o Clinginess
o Social behaviour
Those adopted before 6 months rarely showed signs of disinhibited attachment
Point 2 Bucharest intervention project
o Zeenah et al (2005) assessed attachment in 95 children aged 1231months
who had spent most of their lives in institutional care
o Compared to 50 children who had never lived in institutional care
o Assessed using strange situation
o 74% of the control group securely attached
o 19% of institutional group were securely attached
o 65% of institutional group classified with disorganised attachment
Effects of institutionalisation
o Disinhibited attachment
Show same behaviour to everyone
o Mental retardation
Damage to intellectual development is a result of institutionalisation
Can be recovered if adopted before 6 months

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A02 Evaluation
Point 1 Real life application
Enhanced our understanding of the effects
Has led to improvements in care and how they're cared for (Langton 2006)
orphanages etc now avoid having loads of carers for each child, rather focus on a
much smaller number of them both
Shows such research has been immensely valuable in practical terms
Point 2 Fewer extraneous variables than other orphan studies
Previous studies children in care had faced traumas or loss beforehand
o Such as abuse, neglect, bereavement
Romanian orphans…read more


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