A three year follow-up of attachment and indiscriminate friendliness in children adopted from Romanian orphanages

Child Dev. 1998 Aug;69(4):1092-106.


Attachment and indiscriminately friendly behavior were assessed in children who had spent at least 8 months in a Romanian orphanage (RO) and two comparison groups of children: a Canadian-born, nonadopted, never institutionalized comparison group (CB) and an early adopted comparison group adopted from Romania before the age of 4 months (EA). Attachment was assessed using 2 measures: an attachment security questionnaire based on parent report, and a Separation Reunion procedure that was coded using the Preschool Assessment of Attachment. Indiscriminately friendly behavior was examined using parents' responses to 5 questions about their children's behavior with new adults. Although RO children did not score differently from either CB or EA children on the attachment security measure based on parent report, they did display significantly more insecure attachment patterns than did children in the other 2 groups. In addition, RO children displayed significantly more indiscriminately friendly behavior than both CB and EA children, who did not differ in terms of indiscriminate friendliness. RO children's insecure attachment patterns were not associated with any aspect of their institutional environment, but were related to particular child and family characteristics. Specifically, insecure RO children had more behavior problems, scored lower on the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, and had parents who reported significantly more parenting stress than RO children classified as secure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adoption / psychology*
  • Anxiety, Separation
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child, Institutionalized / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Foster Home Care / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Object Attachment*
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents / psychology
  • Romania / ethnology
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Time Factors