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Early caregiving quality predicts consistency of competent functioning from middle childhood to adolescence following early psychosocial deprivation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 January 2020

Katherine L. Guyon-Harris
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA
Kathryn L. Humphreys
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA Department of Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
Devi Miron
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA
Florin Tibu
Affiliation:
Institute of Child Development, Bucharest, Romania
Nathan A. Fox
Affiliation:
Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA
Charles A. Nelson
Affiliation:
Boston Children's Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, USA
Charles H. Zeanah
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Adverse developmental outcomes for some children following institutional care are well established. Removal from institutional care and placement into families can promote recovery. However, little is known about how positive outcomes are sustained across adolescence among children with histories of severe deprivation. The present study examined the caregiving conditions that are associated with attaining and maintaining competent functioning (i.e., outcomes within typical levels) from middle childhood to adolescence following exposure to early institutional care. The participants included children with and without a history of institutional care who had competence assessed at ages 8, 12, and 16 years across seven domains: family relationships, peer relationships, academic performance, physical health, mental health, substance use (ages 12 and 16 years only), and risk-taking behavior. The participants were grouped based on whether they were always versus not always competent and never versus ever competent at ages 8 through 16 years. Adolescents with a history of institutional care were less likely to be consistently competent than those who were family reared. Among those who were exposed to early institutional rearing, maintaining competent functioning from 8 to 16 years was associated with spending less time in institutions and receiving higher-quality caregiving early in life. Ensuring high quality early caregiving may promote competent functioning following early deprivation.

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Regular Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2020

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Early caregiving quality predicts consistency of competent functioning from middle childhood to adolescence following early psychosocial deprivation
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