Latest Issue of Science News


News

Harsh conditions in childhood have long-term effects

Kids from Romanian orphanage also had lower volumes of gray matter

VANCOUVER — Living in harsh conditions in an orphanage early in life has long-lasting consequences for a child’s social skills, a new study finds.

Children who spent their first two years in Romanian orphanages behaved abnormally in social interactions with other children, even years after leaving the institution. Life in an orphanage was also linked to brain abnormalities, Charles Nelson of Harvard Medical School reported February 17 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“I think this work nails the really important issues in trying to understand the effects of early life experiences,” said psychologist Janet Werker of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.

X
This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.