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The Effect of Pre-Institutional Family vs. No Family and Different Institutional Experiences on the Development of Residential Infants and Toddlers

Hawk, Brandi (2015) The Effect of Pre-Institutional Family vs. No Family and Different Institutional Experiences on the Development of Residential Infants and Toddlers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Young children living in traditional institutions are at risk for many negative outcomes, especially related to social-emotional and cognitive development. The current study addressed whether two institution-wide interventions in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, that increased caregiver sensitivity (Training Only: TO) or both caregiver sensitivity and consistency (Training plus Structural Changes: T+SC) promoted better social-emotional and cognitive development than a No Intervention (NoI) institution during the first year of life for children who were placed soon after birth. It also assessed whether having spent less than 9 versus 9-36 months with a family prior to institutionalization was related to children’s subsequent social-emotional and cognitive development within these three institutions. The Battelle Developmental Inventory and Parent-Child Early Relational Assessment were used to assess the social-emotional and cognitive functioning of children in NoI (n = 95), TO (n = 104), and T+SC (n = 86) at 2-3 time points during their first 6-12 months of residency. Results suggest that during the first year of life, improving caregiver sensitivity can positively impact infants’ cognitive development, whereas improving caregiver consistency in addition to sensitivity is more beneficial for social-emotional development than sensitivity alone. Family effects in T+SC supported these conclusions; longer time with a family (consistent caregiver, unknown sensitivity) was associated with better social-emotional but not cognitive baseline scores and more rapid cognitive than social-emotional development during institutionalization. Spending more than nine months with a family also seemed to prepare children for higher quality interactions with institutional caregivers, regardless of Baby Home.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hawk, Brandibnm6@pitt.eduBNM6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCall, Robertmccall2@pitt.eduMCCALL2
Committee MemberCampbell, Susansbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Committee MemberBrownell, Celiabrownell@pitt.eduBROWNELL
Committee MemberShawk, Danielcasey@pitt.eduCASEY
Committee MemberGroark, Christinacgroark@pitt.eduCGROARK
Date: 21 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 May 2014
Approval Date: 21 September 2015
Submission Date: 20 May 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 136
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Development, Institution, Orphan, Orphanage, Infant, Intervention, High-Risk, Maltreatment
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2015 12:18
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:20


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