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Behavior Problems in Children Adopted from Socially-Emotionally Depriving Orphanages

Merz, Emily Claire (2009) Behavior Problems in Children Adopted from Socially-Emotionally Depriving Orphanages. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Exposure to poor social-emotional conditions during early childhood may contribute to higher rates of behavior problems found among children adopted from orphanages. Behavior problem rates and scores were compared among school-aged children adopted from three different types of orphanages: 1) Russian orphanages in which children received adequate nutrition, health care, toys, and activities but were exposed to insensitive, unresponsive care from numerous, changing caregivers ("social-emotional" deprivation), 2) orphanages worldwide that varied in their levels of deprivation (Gunnar et al., 2007), and 3) severely or "globally" depriving 1990s Romanian orphanages (Groza & Ryan, 2002). Results indicated that socially-emotionally deprived children had higher rates and mean levels of Attention Problems and Aggressive Behavior than the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) standardization sample. Rates of these problems and also Social Problems showed a stepwise increase after 12 months of exposure to the orphanage. Children exposed to global deprivation and varying levels of deprivation showed a similar set of behavior problems. These results suggest that inadequate early social-emotional interactions and relationships may increase risk of behavior problems in post-institutionalized children. Globally deprived children had higher rates of Attention, Social, and Thought Problems than the other two post-institutionalized groups, providing evidence that these problems may be specifically associated with the severity of the orphanage environment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Merz, Emily Claireecm17@pitt.eduECM17
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcCall, Robertmccall2@pitt.eduMCCALL2
Committee MemberShaw, Danielcasey@pitt.eduCASEY
Committee MemberCampbell, Susansbcamp@pitt.eduSBCAMP
Date: 22 January 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 4 January 2008
Approval Date: 22 January 2009
Submission Date: 11 September 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: adopted children; early experiences; level of deprivation; orphanages
Other ID:, etd-09112008-172605
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:50


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