An examination of communicative interactions of children from Romanian orphanages and their adoptive mothers
Canadian Psychological Association : Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science
Before adoption to Canada, children from Romanian orphanages experienced conditions of global deprivation. In this study, we examined the communicative interactions of 4-year-old children adopted from Romania with their adoptive mothers and those of age-matched Canadian-born children. In general, children who had spent more than 8 months in a Romanian orphanage (later adoptees; n = 27) did not differ in the types of communicative intents produced in unstructured interactions from their earlier-adopted peers (n = 21). Later adoptees did produce more acknowledgment utterances, fewer praise utterances, and more requests than the Canadian-born children (n = 27). Mothers of later-adopted children adopted from Romanian orphanages used more frequent regulatory language than mothers of earlier-adopted or Canadian-born children. Mothers’ increased regulation of their child’s activity through language was related to their child’s attachment style and attention difficulties, which significantly differed between the child groups. The results demonstrate that children’s characteristics can influence caregivers’ communicative behaviours. Importantly, results suggest that children from adverse conditions adopted into healthier environments do not show long-term differences in pragmatic or social language usage.
Graham, S. A., Nilsen, E. S., Mah, J. W. T., Morison, S. J., MacLean, K., Fisher, L., Brooks, B. L., & Ames, E. W. (2014). An examination of communicative interactions of children from Romanian orphanages and their adoptive mothers. "Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science". (2014) volume 46, number 1. 9-19. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0033916