Early deprivation impairs the development of balance and bilateral coordination

Barbara J. Roeber, Megan R. Gunnar, Seth D. Pollak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This study examined balance and bilateral coordination skills in a sample of internationally adopted, post-institutionalized (PI) children. We compared the performance of these PI children to two age-matched groups. One was a group of children who were internationally adopted from foster care (FC). The second group consisted of non-adopted children being raised in their birth families, who served as controls (Control). Both PI and FC children scored lower than control children on balance, while PI children scored lower than both FC and control children on bilateral coordination. These results suggest that aspects of institutional rearing impact the development of bilateral coordination, while factors common to internationally adopted children other than institutionalization impact the development of balance. Region of birth (Asia, Latin/South America, Russia/Eastern Europe) did not moderate associations between institutional duration and bilateral coordination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1118
Number of pages9
JournalDevelopmental psychobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • Early experience
  • Motor
  • Plasticity


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