Institutional care and privation

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  • Created by: Huma
  • Created on: 20-04-13 15:43



Institutionalisation can be the result of institutional care.

An institution is a place dedicated to a task such as looking after children or the mentally ill.

It is a place where people live for a period of time rather than daycare.

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To investigate the long-term effects of privation due to institutionalisation, including the emotional and social effects in adolescence.

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65 children who had been taken into care before the age of 4 months formed an opportunity sample.

Natural experiment, using a matched pairs design as the institutionalised children were compared with a control group who were raised at home.

By the age of 4, 24 children had been adopted, 15 restored to their natural home and 26 remained in the institution.

The children were assessed at ages 4,8 and 16 on emotional and social competence through interview and self report questionnaires.

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Findings within the family

At age 8 - Both the adopted and restored children had formed close attachments with their parents and adopted parents.

At age 16 - The adopted children were still closely attached to their adopted parents. However, the restored group were much less likely to be closely attached.

This may be due to the considerable effort made by the adoptive families to form strong attachments with their children.



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Findings outside the family

At age 8 and 16 - Both the adopted and restored children had difficulties with peer relationships and were less likely to belong to a crowd.

They were rated by teachers as much more likely to seek attention from adults. The restored group were more argumentative.

This may be due to the fact that they did not have anybody who was going to make an effort in forming a relationship with them.

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It can be concluded that some of the effects of privation and institutional care can be reversed as the children were able to form attachments in spite of their previous privation.

However, some effects of privation and institutional care are long lasting as shown by the difficulties that the institutionalised children faced at school and in peer relationships.

The findings at age 16 suggest that early privation had a negative effect on the ablity to form relationships when the relationship involved someone who wasnt going to work that hard at it.

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