Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 385–398

Inattention/Overactivity Following Early Severe Institutional Deprivation: Presentation and Associations in Early Adolescence

  • Suzanne E. Stevens
  • Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke
  • Jana M. Kreppner
  • Celia Beckett
  • Jenny Castle
  • Emma Colvert
  • Christine Groothues
  • Amanda Hawkins
  • Michael Rutter
Article

Abstract

The current study examined the persistence and phenotypic presentation of inattention/overactivity (I/O) into early adolescence, in a sample of institution reared (IR) children adopted from Romania before the age of 43 months. Total sample comprised 144 IR and 21 non-IR Romanian adoptees, and a comparison group of 52 within-UK adoptees, assessed at ages 6 and 11 years. I/O was rated using Rutter Scales completed by parents and teachers. I/O continued to be strongly associated with institutional deprivation, with continuities between ages 6 and 11 outcomes. There were higher rates of deprivation-related I/O in boys than girls, and I/O was strongly associated with conduct problems, disinhibited attachment and executive function but not IQ more generally, independently of gender. Deprivation-related I/O shares many common features with ADHD, despite its different etiology and putative developmental mechanisms. I/O is a persistent domain of impairment following early institutional deprivation of 6 months or more, suggesting there may be a possible pathway to impairment through some form of neuro-developmental programming during critical periods of early development.

Keywords

Inattention/overactivity Early deprivation Romanian institutional rearing International adoption 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne E. Stevens
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Edmund J. S. Sonuga-Barke
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jana M. Kreppner
    • 2
  • Celia Beckett
    • 2
  • Jenny Castle
    • 2
  • Emma Colvert
    • 2
  • Christine Groothues
    • 2
  • Amanda Hawkins
    • 2
  • Michael Rutter
    • 2
  1. 1.Developmental Brain-Behaviour Unit, School of PsychologyUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK
  2. 2.MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry CentreInstitute of Psychiatry, King’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.Child Study CenterNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.SGDP Centre, Box PO.80Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College LondonLondonUK

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