I. Children in institutional care: Delayed development and resilience

Marinus H. van Ijzendoorn, Jesús Palacios, Edmund J.S. Sonuga-Barke, Megan R. Gunnar, Panayiota Vorria, Robert B. McCall, Lucy Le Mare, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, Natasha A. Dobrova-Krol, Femmie Juffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

236 Scopus citations


Children exposed to institutional care often suffer from "structural neglect" which may include minimum physical resources, unfavorable and unstable staffing patterns, and socially emotionally inadequate caregiver-child interactions. This chapter is devoted to the analysis of the ill effects of early institutional experiences on resident children's development. Delays in the important areas of physical, hormonal, cognitive, and emotional development are discussed. The evidence for and against the existence of a distinctive set of co-occurring developmental problems in institutionalized children is weighed and found to not yet convincingly demonstrate a "postinstitutional syndrome." Finally, shared and nonshared features of the institutional environment and specific genetic, temperamental, and physical characteristics of the individual child are examined that might make a crucial difference in whether early institutional rearing leaves irreversible scars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-30
Number of pages23
JournalMonographs of the Society for Research in Child Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


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