Romanian Orphan studies

  • AO1:
  • Rutter's ERA (English and Romanian adoptee) Study:
  • Procedure - Rutter et al folowed a group of 165 Romanian orphans adopted into Britain who experinced very poor conditiones before being adopted. This longitudinal study has tested the extent to which good care can make up for poor early experiences in institutions. Physical, cognitive and emotional development has been assessed at age 4, 6, 11 and 15 years. The study also followed a control group of 52 adopted British children. 
  • Findings - Half of the orphans showed mental retardation when they came to the UK. At age 11 recovery rates were related to their age of adoption: Those adopted before 6 months had a mean IQ of 102. Those adopted between 6 months and 2 years had a mean IQ of 86, and those adopted after the age of 2 had a mean IQ of 77. These differences reamined at 16 (Beckett et al). 
  • In terms of attachment, those adopted after 6 months showed signs of disinhibited attachment. Symptoms include attention seeking, clinginess and social behaviour directed indiscriminately towards all adults. 
  • The Bucharest Early Intervention project - Zeanah et al:
  • The researchers used the Strange situation to assess attachment in 95 children aged 12-31 months who had spent most of their lives in institutional care. They were compared to a control group of 50 children who had never experienced institutional care.
  • Findings - Only 19% of the institutional group were securely


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