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The long-term outcomes of early institutional care

Jewett, Jessica; (1998) The long-term outcomes of early institutional care. Doctoral thesis (D.Clin.Psy.), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis reports the adult follow-up of a prospective longitudinal study of the effect of early institutional care. A group of 30-year-olds who all spent from age 4 months to at least 22 months in institutional care, and were then adopted or 'restored' to a biological parent, were compared with a group of individuals, brought up by their biological parents. The ex-institutional individuals had been previously studied at ages 2, 4 1/2, 8 and 16, and the comparison group had previously taken part at the 16 years old follow-up. The ex-institutional group had the unique experience of being deprived the opportunity to form early attachment relationships in their first years of life. This research aimed to examine the long-term effects of this experience on the individ uals' adult adjustment, interpersonal relationships and psychological health. In general the outcomes were very favourable, showing little difference from the comparison group in a wide range of areas. However, some clear differences were evident, including greater difficulties in their relationships with their families, higher rates of police contact and a greater degree of self-reported aggression and self-sufficiency than the comparison group. There were persistent trends in most areas of functioning in the direction of the ex-institutional group experiencing greater difficulties than the comparisons. The variance in outcomes were also significantly greater than for the comparisons, demonstrating great heterogeneity of outcome for the ex-institutional group. Despite evidence of extremely good recovery, these individuals therefore still showed evidence of some lasting long-term effects of their early institutional care.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: D.Clin.Psy.
Title: The long-term outcomes of early institutional care
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Psychology; Institutional care
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099186
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