Tag Archives: institutionalization

Earlier is Better for Family Care: What Research Tells Us About Young Children and Institutionalization

August 2012, Adoption Advocate: This paper briefly summarizes four distinct sets of research on the impact of institutionalization on children. Three are seminal studies specific to the CEE/CIS1 region, covering a wide range of issues in child development. The fourth is a set of meta-analyses based on thousands of adopted children worldwide. Consistent with these studies are new and important findings on the brain development of children. The findings of these and other similar research studies are many, and can be pursued by further studying the resources highlighted in the appendix to this paper. One inescapable conclusion is clear from the research highlighted here: for the sake of their development, it is of the utmost importance for young children to be in nurturing family-based environments early in their young lives.
Link to pdf Report

Neural Development Resulting from Institutionalization in Early Childhood

We examined the effect of institutionalization on neural structure and function, capitalizing on our RCT design in which some children were randomized to foster care intervention, to evaluate whether removal from institutional care ameliorated the neural effects of early-life deprivation. Using structural MRI, we demonstrated that children who were assigned to care as usual had smaller total white matter volume and smaller posterior CC volume than children who were never institutionalized. For children who were randomized into foster care, neither total white matter volume nor posterior CC volume was significantly different from those of children who had never between the CAUG and the FCG. In contrast, total cortical gray matter was significantly smaller among children who were ever institutionalized, regardless of placement into foster care, compared with children who had never been institutionalized. These findings replicate previous studies. Link to Journal Article