Cognitive Recovery in Socially Deprived Young Children: The Bucharest Early Intervention Project

  title={Cognitive Recovery in Socially Deprived Young Children: The Bucharest Early Intervention Project},
  author={Charles A. Nelson and Charles H. Zeanah and Nathan A. Fox and Peter J. Marshall and Anna T. Smyke and Donald Guthrie},
  pages={1937 - 1940}
In a randomized controlled trial, we compared abandoned children reared in institutions to abandoned children placed in institutions but then moved to foster care. Young children living in institutions were randomly assigned to continued institutional care or to placement in foster care, and their cognitive development was tracked through 54 months of age. The cognitive outcome of children who remained in the institution was markedly below that of never-institutionalized children and children… 

Effect of foster care on young children's language learning.

This report examines 174 young children's language outcomes in the Bucharest Early Intervention Project, the first randomized trial of foster placement after institutional care, and confirmed that placement after 24 months led to lower expressive skill.

IQ at age 12 following a history of institutional care: Findings from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project.

It is demonstrated the continued importance of foster care intervention and the negative effects of severe, early psychosocial deprivation on IQ into late childhood.

Effect of foster care on language learning at eight years: Findings from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project*

The results show the continuing adverse effects of early poor institutional care on later language development and the key importance of age of placement in a more optimal environment.

The effects of early foster care intervention on attention biases in previously institutionalized children in Romania.

An attention bias towards positive stimuli was associated with reduced risk for behavioral problems amongst children who experienced early psychosocial deprivation and the magnitude of positive bias was predicted by age of placement into foster care among children with a history of institutionalization.

Growth and associations between auxology, caregiving environment, and cognition in socially deprived Romanian children randomized to foster vs ongoing institutional care.

Foster care had a significant effect on growth, particularly with early placement and high-quality care, and catch-up growth in height under more nurturing conditions is a useful indicator of caregiving quality and cognitive improvement.

Development and institutional care

  • A. Smyke
  • Psychology
    Developmental medicine and child neurology
  • 2012
Examination of the effects of early institutional experience on motor skills for 8to 15-year-old children adopted into homes in the United States found significant delays in balance and bilateral coordination remained when compared to a sample of agematched, family-reared children.

Placement in foster care enhances quality of attachment among young institutionalized children.

It is found that children placed in foster care before 24 months were more likely to have secure attachments and if placed earlier were less likelihood to have disorganized or insecure-other attachments.

A new model of foster care for young children: the Bucharest early intervention project.




The caregiving context in institution-reared and family-reared infants and toddlers in Romania.

These data confirm previous findings regarding deficits associated with institutional care and extend the understanding of the impact of individual differences in caregiving quality on the development of young children in institutions.

Designing research to study the effects of institutionalization on brain and behavioral development: The Bucharest Early Intervention Project

An overview of the largest longitudinal investigation of institutionalized children less than 2 years old ever conducted in Bucharest, Romania, to provide clues to which underlying neurobiological processes are compromised by, and resilient to, dramatic changes in early experience.

Specificity and heterogeneity in children's responses to profound institutional privation

Attachment problems, inattention/overactivity, quasi-autistic features and cognitive impairment were associated with institutional privation, but emotional difficulties, poor peer relationships and conduct problems were not.

Disturbances of attachment in young children adopted from institutions.

  • C. Zeanah
  • Psychology
    Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP
  • 2000
It is concluded that children adopted from institutions are at dramatically increased risk for disturbances, although the majority of such children do not demonstrate problems, and both the duration of deprivation and the postinstitutional caregiving environment seem to be importantly related to outcome.

Social recovery by isolation-reared monkeys.

  • H. HarlowS. Suomi
  • Biology, Psychology
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1971
It is postulated that social stimulation that both permits subjects to achieve contact acceptability and provides an interactive medium conducive to gradual development of sophisticated social behaviors will result in almost complete recovery of social capabilities previously obliterated by rearing in isolation.

Local Brain Functional Activity Following Early Deprivation: A Study of Postinstitutionalized Romanian Orphans

Dysfunction of these brain regions may result from the stress of early global deprivation and may be involved in the long-term cognitive and behavioral deficits displayed by some Romanian orphans.

Developmental catch-up, and deficit, following adoption after severe global early privation. English and Romanian Adoptees (ERA) Study Team.

  • M. Rutter
  • Medicine
    Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines
  • 1998
It was concluded that the remaining cognitive deficit was likely to be a consequence of gross early privation, with psychological privation probably more important than nutritional privation.

Ethical considerations in international research collaboration: The Bucharest early intervention project.

It is concluded that notwithstanding challenging ethical dilemmas, the benefits of the BEIP outweighed its risks and the ethical issues raised by the project were addressed.

Abnormal Brain Connectivity in Children After Early Severe Socioemotional Deprivation: A Diffusion Tensor Imaging Study

This study demonstrates in children who experienced socioemotional deprivation a structural change in the left uncinate fasciculus that partly may underlie the cognitive, socioem emotional, and behavioral difficulties that commonly are observed in these children.

The health of children adopted from Romania.

Romanian adoptees are an extraordinarily high-risk pediatric group as a consequences of decades of government-sanctioned child neglect and abuse.