Severe Childhood Deprivation may Cause Psychological Problems in Adulthood
A team of researchers have shown the impact of childhood deprivation on mental and emotional health during adulthood. The study also showed that early adversity may increase a child’s risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly called ADHD, later in life.
The study analyzed neuropsychological function in 70 young adults who had experienced depriving conditions in Romanian orphanages during Nicolae Ceausescu’s regime and then adopted by British families. Neuropsychological testing is used to see how a person’s brain works and copes with day-to-day challenges. The Romanian adoptees were compared to 22 British adoptees of similar ages who did not have depriving experiences. Areas of brain function evaluated included inhibitory control, prospective memory, decision-making, emotional recognition, and cognitive ability.
The results showed that the Romanian adoptees had lower IQs and performed worse than the British adoptees. Furthermore, the adoptees that had the lowest IQs were much more likely to develop ADHD in adulthood than those with normal neuropsychological findings.