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Longitudinal studies of children in
institutional care
The effects of privation
A longitudinal study of ex-institutional children by Hodges & Tizard 1989
To investigate the effects of early privationon subsequent social and
Aim emotional development, and to test the maternal deprivation hypothesis.
· The longitudinal study was an natural experiment.
· Sample ­ 65 children who had been placed in an institution when they
Procedures were less than 4 months old. There was a policy in the institution
against caregivers forming attachments with the children. This would
suggest they experienced early privation.
· By the age of 4, 24 children had been adopted, 15 had returned to there
natural homes and the rest remained in the institution.
· Assessment at the age of 8 and 16 involved interviewing those children
who had been adopted and returned to their natural home.
· There were some differences between the adopted children and the
`resorted' children . The adopted children generally had a close
Findings attachment to their adopted parents, this was less true for the
`resorted' children.
· However, there were similarities in the behaviour between the adopted
and `resorted' children outside the family. For example, both groups
were more likely to seek attention and approval than the control group.
Also, both were less successful in peer relationships.
There is evidence that does not support the maternal deprivation
hypothesis. The adopted children were able to form attachments.
Conclusion However, there is evidence that also supports the maternal deprivation
hypothesis; outside of the family it did appear that early privation did gave
an affect on social development.
Participants are no longer willing to take part or are available during a
longitudinal study. It is possible a certain type of individual is likely to drop
Evaluation out of the study e.g. those who aren't highly motivated. This leaves the
study with a biased sample therefore makes it difficult to generalise the
findings.…read more

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Case studies of children raised in
extreme isolation.
Case studies of children who gave been raised in isolated and deprived circumstance
demonstrate two things:
· Some children never recover from early privation.
· Other children show remarkable recovery.
Cases of isolation 1 Cases of isolation 2
Czech twins (Koluchova 1976) Genie (reported by Curtiss 1977)
· The first case involves Czechoslovakian, · Genie was found at the age of 13.
male identical twin whose mother died · Her history was one of severe isolation,
after giving birth. neglect and physical restraint. She was
· The children went to a children home kept strapped to a child potty in a spare
for 12 months. They then went to saty room and her father punished her if she
with their father. The father was of low made a sound.
intelligence and the step mother was · When discovered her appearance was
cruel. that of a 6-7 year old.
· The boys were never allowed out of the · Curtiss described her as primitive,
house and were kept in either a small socialised and hardly human. She made
unheated cellar or closet. virtually no sounds and could hardly
· When discovered at the age of 7, the walk.
children could hardly wak, had acute · Genie never achieved good social
rickets, were very fearful and had poor adjustment or language despite
speech. intervention and being placed with a
· After placement in a hospital and then foster family.
a foster home, excellent gains were
made. The children are now adults and
appear well adjusted and cognitively
· The evidence is retrospective, so we cannot be sure about the actual conditions the
children endured.
· It is difficult to generalise these findings.
· However, this evidence does conclude that with the right conditions it is possible to
recover from privation.…read more


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