Effects of early psychosocial deprivation on the development of memory and executive function
Bos, Karen J.
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CitationBos, Karen J., Nathan Fox, Charles H. Zeanah, and Charles A. Nelson III. 2009. “Effects of Early Psychosocial Deprivation on the Development of Memory and Executive Function.” Front. Behav. Neurosci. Vol. 3, Article 16 (September 2009).
AbstractThis study investigated the effects of early institutional care on memory and executive functioning.
Subjects were participants in the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) and included
institutionalized children, children with a history of institutionalization who were assigned to a
foster care intervention, and community children in Bucharest, Romania. Memory and executive
functioning were assessed at the age of 8 years using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test
and Automated Battery (CANTAB). As expected, children with a history of early institutional care
performed worse on measures of both visual memory and executive functioning compared
to their peers without a history of institutional care. In comparing children randomly assigned
to the foster care intervention with their peers who had continued care in the institution, initial
comparisons did not show signifi cant differences on any of the memory or executive functioning
outcomes. However, for one of the measures of executive functioning, after controlling for
birth weight, head circumference, and duration of time spent in early institutional care, the
foster care intervention was a signifi cant predictor of scores. These results support and extend
previous fi ndings of defi cits in memory and executive functioning among school-age children
with a history of early deprivation due to institutional care. This study has implications for the
millions of children who continue to experience the psychosocial deprivation associated with
early institutional care.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13506926
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