Lack of stimulation in Romanian orphanages stunts brain development in children, Harvard Medical School Professor of Pediatrics Charles A. Nelson said at a Harvard China Care event Tuesday evening.About the only thing I hadn't heard before was this: "According to the study, girls do not suffer in institutions as much as boys. Girls also benefit more when they are placed in foster home." Anyone have information on why orphanage/family care differs in effect on boys and girls?
At the request of the Romanian government, Nelson studied the influence of childhood experience and early psycho-social deprivation on the brain in Romanian orphanages.
“Romania had a particularly egregious history,” Nelson said.
Communist policies have left an overwhelming population of abandoned children to state institutions.
Children in overcrowded orphanages often struggle with a stifling, highly-regimented daily routine, Nelson said.
These environments often cause social interaction and attachment problems, autism, and stunted growth.
Without stimulating experience, children develop “brain deprivation” as a result of social neglect.
Nelson’s study found that children suffering from brain deprivation appear physically stunted. The body appears to save essential growth hormones for brain development, he said.
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