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Julian, Megan M (2015) THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDREN ADOPTED FOLLOWING A SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL INTERVENTION IN AN INSTITUTION. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Worldwide, over 2 million children reside in institutional care; while family care is ideal, institutions will continue to exist for many years, and it is important to investigate ways to improve the care of children who reside in institutions. The current study is a post-adoption follow-up of an intervention in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation Baby Homes (BHs) wherein children received enhanced social-emotional care by regular BH caregivers. Children in this study previously resided in a St. Petersburg BH and received either No Intervention (CNoI), Training Only (TO), or Training and Structural Changes (T+SC). While children were in the institution, there were clear differences between groups in their physical, behavioral, and social-emotional development with T+SC faring the best, TO intermediate, and NoI having the poorest outcomes (St. Petersburg-USA Orphanage Research Team, 2008). This dissertation aimed to determine whether benefits of the intervention persisted up to 8 years after adoption. Parents completed measures including the 23-item Attachment Questionnaire, Indiscriminately Friendly Behavior Measure, BRIEF-P, CBQ (selected subtests), ITSEA, and CBCL 1½-5. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to examine the effect of Age at Adoption, Years in Adoptive Home, Intervention Group, and Age at Adoption x Intervention Group interactions on each outcome measure. Overall, while there are some residual effects of the intervention on children after adoption, graduates of each intervention group are functioning very well in early childhood. Graduates of intervention BHs tend to have better attachment security, lower levels of indiscriminately friendly behavior (T+SC only), fewer behavior problems (T+SC only), and lower levels of Internalizing problems (TO only) and Dysregulation (TO only) than CNoI. An older age at adoption or more time in the adoptive home were associated poorer outcomes in some domains. Children who had more exposure to intervention conditions (e.g., T+SC and TO adopted at older ages) had better attachment security (T+SC) fewer externalizing (TO only) and internalizing (TO only) problems, but poorer executive function and lower competence. Because all groups were, on average, functioning within the normal range of behavior, “poorer” outcomes are hypothesized to reflect the increased agency, creativity, and emotional expression of children from intervention BHs.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Julian, Megan Mmmj17@pitt.eduMMJ17
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCall, Robert B.mccall2@pitt.eduMCCALL2
Committee MemberCampbell, Susan B.sbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Committee MemberGroark, Christina J.cgroark@pitt.eduCGROARK
Committee MemberOlino,
Committee MemberShaw, Daniel S.casey@pitt.eduCASEY
Date: 26 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 23 February 2015
Approval Date: 26 September 2015
Submission Date: 14 March 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 100
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: early experience; intervention; social-emotional experience; adoption; institutional care; orphanage; behavior problems; executive function; attachment; indiscriminate friendliness
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2015 00:45
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:26


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