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      Developmental Effects of Parent–Child Separation

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      Annual Review of Developmental Psychology

      Annual Reviews

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          Abstract

          Parent–child separation occurs for many reasons, both involuntary and voluntary. We review the effects on children and youth of parent–child separation due to several of the most common reasons that are responsible for the growth in this family circumstance worldwide. These include early institutionalization; war, persecution, and conflict; separation during asylum; trafficking; conscription into armed conflict; and being left behind when parents migrate for economic or other reasons. Overall, the effects of parent–child separation are consistently negative on children's social-emotional development, well-being, and mental health. They are more severe when the separation is prolonged or accompanied by other forms of deprivation or victimization. Mitigating and protective factors include earlier stable family placement in the case of early institutionalization, parent–child communication and parenting quality, and community support in the host community. We conclude with an evaluation of group, school-based, and community-based interventions for children and youth affected by parent–child separation.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Neurodevelopmental effects of early deprivation in postinstitutionalized children.

          The neurodevelopmental sequelae of early deprivation were examined by testing (N = 132) 8- and 9-year-old children who had endured prolonged versus brief institutionalized rearing or rearing in the natal family. Behavioral tasks included measures that permit inferences about underlying neural circuitry. Children raised in institutionalized settings showed neuropsychological deficits on tests of visual memory and attention, as well as visually mediated learning and inhibitory control. Yet, these children performed at developmentally appropriate levels on similar tests where auditory processing was also involved and on tests assessing executive processes such as rule acquisition and planning. These findings suggest that specific aspects of brain-behavioral circuitry may be particularly vulnerable to postnatal experience.
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            Transitions and Turning Points in Developmental Psychopathology: As applied to the Age Span between Childhood and Mid-adulthood

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              School-based Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy Group Intervention for Refugee Children who have Experienced War-related Trauma

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Annual Review of Developmental Psychology
                Annu. Rev. Dev. Psychol.
                Annual Reviews
                2640-7922
                2640-7922
                December 24 2019
                December 24 2019
                : 1
                : 1
                : 387-410
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Global TIES for Children, New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
                [2 ]Department of Applied Psychology, New York University, New York, NY 10003, USA;
                Article
                10.1146/annurev-devpsych-121318-085142
                © 2019

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