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Child Dev. 2000 Mar-Apr;71(2):376-90.

The effects of global severe privation on cognitive competence: extension and longitudinal follow-up. English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team.

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Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK.


The current study extends previous research on a sample of children adopted into the United Kingdom following severe early deprivation and a comparison sample of nondeprived, within-country, early adoptees. We assessed 165 children adopted from Romania and 52 U.K. adoptees at age 6 years. Longitudinal data (at age 4 and 6 years) were available on 111 Romanian adoptees placed into U.K. homes before 24 months of age and on all U.K. adoptees. Results indicated that there was considerable catch-up among late-placed Romanian children from entry into the United Kingdom to age 6, but as a group they exhibited lower cognitive scores and general developmental impairment compared with earlier adopted Romanian children. In addition, the resilience suggested at the assessment at age 4 years was maintained longitudinally, but there was no further evidence of catch-up or recovery.

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