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Keywords:

  • Family factors;
  • institutions;
  • intelligence;
  • intervention;
  • neglect

Background:  Previous reports from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project suggested that children removed from institutions and placed into intervention displayed gains in IQ relative to children randomized to remain in institutional care.

Method:  The current report presents data from the 8-year follow-up of these children. One hundred and three of the original 136 children in the study were tested with the WISC IV.

Results:  Results reveal continued benefit from the intervention even though many of the children in both the intervention and control groups were no longer residing in their initial placements. Gains in IQ were particularly evident for those children who remained with their intervention family. There were also modest timing effects such that children placed earlier displayed higher scores on the WISC processing speed subscale. Early placement was also a significant predictor of a profile of stable, typical IQ scores over time.

Conclusion:  These data suggest the continued importance of early intervention and the negative effects of severe psychosocial deprivation on the development of IQ scores across early childhood.