Inattention/overactivity following early severe institutional deprivation: presentation and associations in early adolescence

Stevens, Suzanne E., Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S., Kreppner, Jana M., Beckett, Celia, Castle, Jenny, Colvert, Emma, Groothues, Christine, Hawkins, Amanda and Rutter, Michael (2008) Inattention/overactivity following early severe institutional deprivation: presentation and associations in early adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36, 385-398. (doi:10.1007/s10802-007-9185-5).


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The current study examined the persistence and phenotypic presentation of inattention/overactivity (I/O) into early adolescence, in a sample of institution reared (IR) children adopted from Romania before the age of 43 months. Total sample comprised 144 IR and 21 non-IR Romanian adoptees, and a comparison group of 52 within-UK adoptees, assessed at ages 6 and 11 years. I/O was rated using Rutter Scales completed by parents and teachers. I/O continued to be strongly associated with institutional deprivation, with continuities between ages 6 and 11 outcomes. There were higher rates of deprivation-related I/O in boys than girls, and I/O was strongly associated with conduct problems, disinhibited attachment and executive function but not IQ more generally, independently of gender. Deprivation-related I/O shares many common features with ADHD, despite its different etiology and putative developmental mechanisms. I/O is a persistent domain of impairment following early institutional deprivation of 6 months or more, suggesting there may be a possible pathway to impairment through some form of neuro-developmental programming during critical periods of early development.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1007/s10802-007-9185-5
ISSNs: 0091-0627 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: inattention/overactivity, early deprivation, romanian institutional rearing, international adoption
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Clinical Neuroscience
ePrint ID: 50139
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2008Published
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2008
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:27

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