A recent research shows that care giving from a few consistent individuals helps to minimize the potential emotional and mental-health development issues that can arise from spending the early years of a child’s life in an institution. Within such facilities, infants and toddlers reared in daily contact with responsive and warm professionals display better physical, cognitive, and social development.
After they are placed into families, they have less aggressive and defiant tendencies and show fewer externalizing behaviors. The study acknowledges that infants and toddlers who reside in traditional institutions for extended periods are more likely to exhibit internalizing and externalizing behavioral problems even after being placed into families for some years.
The study also determines whether positive interventions in these institutions would be associated with improvements in their behavior after transitioning into family care.
One of the study’s lead researchers Robert B. McCall said, “Unfortunately, many children around the world are reared in a regimented fashion by a large number of individuals who provide only the basics of care and support in a businesslike fashion with very little else–no response to crying, no conversation, no play, no hugs.”