A loving family can boost a child's intelligence

Filed under: Adoption, Health & Safety: Babies, Development/Milestones: Babies, Media, That's Entertainment

The UK Guardian is reporting the results of a five-year study which seems to indicate that depriving children of a loving family environment causes not only lasting damage to their emotional and psychological wellbeing, but to their intelligence and physical stature as well.  The Bucharest Early Intervention Project studied the wellbeing of children in a Romanian orphanage over five years, and recorded the changes they experienced when transferred into foster care.  Researchers found children living in deprived conditions suffered stunted growth; however, upon being transferred to a foster home, they went through astounding growth spurts.

"They can grow five times faster than normal and by the time they've been in foster care for a year and a half they will nearly have caught up," said Dana Johnson, professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota, who estimates children in orphanages lose one month of growth for every three they spend there.

The study further showed remarkable improvements in the children's IQs and emotional test results upon being removed from the orphanages and placed in foster care. 

An amazing study.  For those of you considering adoption -- particularly older children -- this is definitely worth a read.  As far as I'm concerned, it's further confirmation of the power of love.

(Thanks to Caitlin for the tip!)

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.