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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1989 Jan;30(1):53-75.

IQ and behavioural adjustment of ex-institutional adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children, London, U.K.


A group of children raised in institutions until at least 2 years of age, then adopted or restored to a biological parent, have been followed longitudinally into mid-adolescence. No effect of early institutionalisation was found on IQ which depended largely on the type of family placement. Behavioural and emotional difficulties were more common in the ex-institutional group than in a matched comparison group, according to teacher questionnaires and interviews with the adolescents and their parents. The findings are discussed in relation to placement policy and the question of the long-term effects of early experience.

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