Institutionalisation

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Institutionalisation

  1. 1. Institutionalisation Refers to the effects on a child of growing up in an institutional environment, such as an orphanage.
  2. 2. Learning objectives <ul><li>By the end of this topic, you should be able to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Define institutionalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Define reactive attachment disorder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outline and evaluate studies of institutionalised children, including the Hodges and Tizard (1989) study </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) <ul><li>A disorder (thought to result from privation) characterised by disturbed and developmentally inappropriate ways of relating socially. It can take two forms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inhibited attachment - The child is extremely withdrawn, emotionally detached, and resistant to comforting. The child is aware of what’s going on around him or her but doesn’t react or respond. He or she may push others away, ignore them, or even act out in aggression when others try to get close. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disinhibited attachment - The child doesn’t seem to prefer his or her parents over other people, even strangers. The child seeks comfort and attention from virtually anyone, without distinction. He or she is extremely dependent, acts much younger than his or her age, and may appear chronically anxious. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Hodges and Tizard (1989) <ul><li>Aim: To examine the effect of institutional upbringing on later attachment. </li></ul><ul><li>Based on earlier research which suggested that privation can lead to delinquent behaviour (anti-social or criminal behaviour). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Hodges and Tizard - Method <ul><li>Opportunity sample of 65 American children who were placed in an institution before they were 4 months old (so that prior experience would not be a confounding variable). </li></ul><ul><li>Their physical and cognitive needs were met. </li></ul><ul><li>But there was an explicit rule in the institution against the caregivers forming attachments with the children, so they were likely to have experienced privation. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Hodges and Tizard - Method <ul><li>Natural/field experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Four conditions of the IV: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By age four, 24 of the children had been adopted (after the age of 2, so had spent substantial amount of time in the institution) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15 were restored to biological family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>26 remained in institutional care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control group – matched on gender, family position and occupation of the family’s main breadwinner </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Hodges and Tizard - Method <ul><li>The children were assessed for social and emotional development at age 4, 8 and 16. </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews (with the child, their carers and their teachers), questionnaires and psychometric tests were used to collect data on all the adolescents (including those in the comparison groups). </li></ul><ul><li>But… of the 65 children, only 51 were left at age 8 and 42 at age 16 (20% dropout rate). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Hodges and Tizard - Findings <ul><li>At four years of age none of the institutionalised children had formed attachments, but by eight years of age those who were adopted had formed good attachments. Also their social and intellectual development was better than that of children returned to their own families. </li></ul><ul><li>Those returned to their natural families ( restored ) showed more behavioural problems and the attachments were weaker. Nevertheless all those children who had spent their early years in institutions were more attention-seeking from adults and showed some difficulties in their social relationships, particularly with their peers. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Conclusions <ul><li>Children can recover from privation resulting from institutionalisation - if they are placed in a good quality, loving environment. </li></ul><ul><li>I.e. they can form healthy attachments with caregivers. </li></ul><ul><li>However, their social development may never be as good as those who have not been institutionalised. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Hodges and Tizard - Evaluation <ul><li>APPLY the strengths and limitations of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Longitudinal study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self report techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Also consider: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The age at which children entered the institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The age at which they were adopted/restored </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The effectiveness of the control group </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecological validity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generalisablity of all American sample </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Usefulness of findings (for the future care of children) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical issues </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The Romanian orphans <ul><li>President Nicolae Ceausescu was a Communist dictator who was the president of Romania in the early 1990’s. </li></ul><ul><li>He banned contraception in a bid to increase the country’s population, and passed a law that all women had to have 5 children. </li></ul><ul><li>Many parents couldn’t afford so many children, and were encouraged to hand them over into state care. </li></ul><ul><li>These children were placed in huge, poor quality institutions. </li></ul><ul><li>When Ceausescu was overthrown in 1989, the children’s plight was revealed to the rest of the world, and many of the orphans were adopted by people in other countries, including the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Video of Romanian orphans COULD BE USPETTING </li></ul>
  12. 12. Rutter et al (2007) <ul><li>Longitudinal study of Romanian orphans adopted by British families. </li></ul><ul><li>Assessed at 4, 6 and 11 years old. </li></ul><ul><li>Those adopted before 6 months showed normal levels of development. </li></ul><ul><li>Those adopted after 6 months were more likely to display disinhibited attachment and poor peer relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Children exposed to privation are more likely to make a fuller recovery if adopted into a caring environment at an earlier age.  </li></ul><ul><li>Your task: Evaluate this study – p. 37 of your workbook. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Zeanah et al (2005) <ul><li>Aim – To compare attachment types between Romanian children in institutionalised care and those who had not experienced institutionalised care. </li></ul><ul><li>Method - Experimental group of 95 children who had spent an average of 90% their lives in institutional care. </li></ul><ul><li>Control group of 50 children who had never lived in an institution. </li></ul><ul><li>Took part in the Strange Situation to assess attachment type (secure or insecure). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Zeanah et al – Findings <ul><li>Your task: Write three sentences which summarise the findings of this study. Then write another 1-2 sentences outlining the conclusions we can draw from these findings. </li></ul>0 12.6 Behaviour so odd that attachment type could not be categorised 22 65.3 Disorganised attachment 74 18.9 Secure attachment Control group (%) Experimental group (%)
  15. 15. Evaluation of all institutional studies <ul><li>The case of the Romanian orphans highlights the fact that many children in institutions are exposed to very poor conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, how much can we separate the effects of this neglect/abuse from the effects of privation? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Other studies <ul><li>Skeels (1949) – 13 mentally retarded infants aged under 2 showed significant increases in IQ scores when transferred from an orphanage to a home for the mentally retarded (where they were given attention from adult inmates). These improvements (compared to a control group) were still evident 20 years later. </li></ul><ul><li>Goldfarb (1943) – 30 children, aged between 6 months and 3 years. Half raised in an institution, the other half in foster care. Found that the institution group were inferior to the fostered group in terms of IQ, social maturity and following rules. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Example exam questions <ul><li>Outline and evaluate research * into institutionalisation (12 marks - 6 A01 description + 6 AO2 evaluation) </li></ul><ul><li>Research has suggested that institutionalisation can have negative effects on children. In the 1990s, many children were found living in poor quality orphanages in Romania. Luca had lived in one of these orphanages from birth. When he was four years old, he was adopted and he left the orphanage to live in Canada. His development was then studied for a number of years. Outline possible negative effects of institutionalisation on Luca** (4 marks – AO2 application). </li></ul>* When a question states ‘research’, at least two studies should be used. But… remember the depth/breadth trade off. ** This is an application question. For full marks, you must relate your answer to Luca – don’t just describe the effects of institutionalisation in general.
  18. 18. Plenary <ul><li>Create a mind map of institutionalisation. Make sure you include AO2 points too! </li></ul>

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