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Do the effects of early severe deprivation on cognition persist into early adolescence? Findings from the English and Romanian adoptees study

Beckett, Celia, Maughan, Barabara, Rutter, Michael, Castle, Jenny, Colvert, Emma, Groothues, Christine, Kreppner, Jana, Stevens, Suzanne, O'Conner, Thomas G. and Sonuga-Barke, Edmund J.S. (2006) Do the effects of early severe deprivation on cognition persist into early adolescence? Findings from the English and Romanian adoptees study Child Development, 77, (3), pp. 696-711.

Record type: Article


Cognitive outcomes at age 11 of 131 Romanian adoptees from institutions were compared with 50 U.K. adopted children. Key findings were of both continuity and change: (1) marked adverse effects persisted at age 11 for many of the children who were over 6 months on arrival; (2) there was some catch-up between ages 6 and 11 for the bottom 15%; (3) there was a decrease of 15 points for those over 6 months on arrival, but no differentiation within the 6–42-month range; (4) there was marked heterogeneity of outcome but this was not associated with the educational background of the adoptive families. The findings draw attention to the psychological as well as physical risks of institutional deprivation.

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Published date: May 2006
Additional Information: We are most grateful to all the families who have generously given their time to participating in this study, and whose comments and suggestions have been very helpful in relation to the interpretation of findings. The data collection phase of the study was supported by grants from the Helmut Horten Foundation and the U.K. Department of Health. Ongoing support is provided by grants from the Department of Health, the Nuffield Foundation, and the Jacobs Foundation. We express our thanks to our external Advisory Group, whose input has been invaluable. Barbara Maughan is supported by the U.K. Medical Research Council. The views expressed in this article are ours and do not necessarily represent those of the funders.


Local EPrints ID: 47607
ISSN: 0009-3920
PURE UUID: e6cd54e3-62ae-4f9b-93fb-3fd8f00d2593
ORCID for Jana Kreppner: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 06 Aug 2007
Last modified: 28 Aug 2017 18:46

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Author: Celia Beckett
Author: Barabara Maughan
Author: Michael Rutter
Author: Jenny Castle
Author: Emma Colvert
Author: Christine Groothues
Author: Jana Kreppner ORCID iD
Author: Suzanne Stevens
Author: Thomas G. O'Conner
Author: Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke

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