Neglect Can Cause Child Development Problems

Infants left alone in orphanages suffer problems for years

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FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- Infants in orphanages who are neglected during their first few months of life can suffer development problems that last for years.

A panel of scientists reported that finding Feb. 14 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Denver.

More research into the biological aspects of these developmental difficulties may suggest ways to improve the lives of some of these troubled children and also provide more information on brain development during early childhood.

In the last decade, the number of children from other countries adopted by U.S. families has increased from 7,000 to 17,000. Currently, about 85 percent of foreign children adopted by American families have spent some part of their lives in institutions.

The panel of scientists provided some examples of the type of potential social and emotional problems experienced by children who spend their early lives in institutions.

These children don't have the chance to form close bonds with their parents. They tend to be indiscriminately friendly towards all adults. However, according to normal patterns of child development, they should be somewhat wary of strangers.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about child development.

SOURCE: American Association for the Advancement of Science, news release, Feb. 14, 2003

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