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The development of postinstitutionalized versus parent-reared Russian children as a function of age at placement and family type

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 January 2016

Robert B. McCall*
Affiliation:
University of Pittsburgh
Rifkat J. Muhamedrahimov
Affiliation:
St. Petersburg State University
Christina J. Groark
Affiliation:
University of Pittsburgh
Oleg I. Palmov
Affiliation:
St. Petersburg State University
Natalia V. Nikiforova
Affiliation:
Babyhome 13, St. Petersburg
Jennifer Salaway
Affiliation:
University of Pittsburgh
Megan M. Julian
Affiliation:
University of Pittsburgh
*
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert B. McCall, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; E-mail: mccall2@pitt.edu.

Abstract

A total of 149 children, who spent an average of 13.8 months in Russian institutions, were transferred to Russian families of relatives and nonrelatives at an average age of 24.7 months. After residing in these families for at least 1 year (average = 43.2 months), parents reported on their attachment, indiscriminately friendly behavior, social–emotional competencies, problem behaviors, and effortful control when they were 1.5–10.7 years of age. They were compared to a sample of 83 Russian parents of noninstitutionalized children, whom they had reared from birth. Generally, institutionalized children were rated similarly to parent-reared children on most measures, consistent with substantial catch-up growth typically displayed by children after transitioning to families. However, institutionalized children were rated more poorly than parent-reared children on certain competencies in early childhood and some attentional skills. There were relatively few systematic differences associated with age at family placement or whether the families were relatives or nonrelatives. Russian parent-reared children were rated as having more problem behaviors than the US standardization sample, which raises cautions about using standards cross-culturally.

Type
Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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