We :propose-two studies aimed at assessing the long-term developmental effects of variations in early social- emotional experience and human relationships in children who are reared in orphanages in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation: These orphanages are acceptable on most standards of care except social-emotional development and caregiver-child relationship building, which are widely Relieved to be the major causal components that typically lead to long-term developmental limitations and mental health problems. These proposed studies, will be better able to attribute long-term outcomes to the early social-emotional rearing environment of these children than previous studies. 'Study 1 consists of the largest follow-up of children reared in orphanages that are deficient only with respect to their social-emotional environment who are then adopted into highly advantaged USA homes. Adoptive parents will respond to a comprehensive set of questionnaires, and responses compared to parent- reared samples, adopted American children that partially controls for the experience.of adoption and genetic and perinatal characteristics unique to adopted children, non-adopted siblings that control for the adoptive family environments, and teacher ratings of the adopted child versus an arbitrarily selected comparison child to provide an assessment of the social and academic behavior of children in the school context and to complement parental ratings. A check on respondent bias will also be made. Study 2 is the only study to follow up children from three of the same orphanages in Study 1 but who were exposed to quasi-experimental interventions designed to improve the early social-emotional environment and promote adult-child relationships. Children are subsequently either adopted into the same highly-advantaged USA homes or returned to their less-advantaged biological parents in St. Petersburg. These children will have been exposed to either a double intervention (caregiver training plus structural changes in the orphanage), training only, and no treatment. Parents will be assessed with the same questionnaire battery and their responses contrasted with the same comparison groups as Study 1. This study tests whether the early interventions have greater relative benefit for children subsequently reared in less- rather than more-advantaged families.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Psychosocial Development, Risk and Prevention Study Section (PDRP)
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Esposito, Layla E
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University of Pittsburgh
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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McCall, Robert B; Muhamedrahimov, Rifkat J; Groark, Christina J et al. (2016) The development of postinstitutionalized versus parent-reared Russian children as a function of age at placement and family type. Dev Psychopathol 28:251-64
Julian, Megan M; McCall, Robert B (2016) Social Skills in Children Adopted from Socially-Emotionally Depriving Institutions. Adopt Q 19:44-62
Merz, Emily C; Harlé, Katia M; Noble, Kimberly G et al. (2016) Executive Function in Previously Institutionalized Children. Child Dev Perspect 10:105-110
Muhamedrahimov, Rifkat J; Agarkova, Varvara V; Vershnina, Elena A et al. (2014) Behavior problems in children transferred from a socioemotionally depriving institution to St. Petersburg (Russian Federation) families. Infant Ment Health J 35:111-22
Hawk, Brandi N; McCall, Robert B (2014) Perceived relationship quality in adolescents following early social-emotional deprivation. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry 19:439-59
McCall, Robert B; Groark, Christina J; Fish, Larry et al. (2013) Maintaining a social-emotional intervention and its benefits for institutionalized children. Child Dev 84:1734-49
Hawk, Brandi N; Wright, Amanda; Julian, Megan M et al. (2013) Potential Selective Responding in a Parent Questionnaire Study of Post-Institutionalized Children. Adopt Q 16:97-107
Merz, Emily C; McCall, Robert B; Groza, Victor (2013) Parent-reported executive functioning in postinstitutionalized children: a follow-up study. J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol 42:726-33
McCall, Robert B (2013) The consequences of early institutionalization: can institutions be improved? - should they? Child Adolesc Ment Health 18:
Julian, Megan M (2013) Age at adoption from institutional care as a window into the lasting effects of early experiences. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 16:101-45

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