Health status, cognitive and motor development of young children adopted from China, East Asia, and Russia across the first 6 months after adoption

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Health status, cognitive and motor development of young children adopted from China, East Asia, and Russia across the first 6 months after adoption, by Andrée Pomerleaua, Gérard Malcuita, Jean-François Chicoineb, Renée Séguina, Céline Belhumeurb, Patricia Germainb, Isabelle Amyotb & Gloria Jéliua, International Journal of Behavioral Development Volume 29, Issue 5, 2005 pages 445-457

Abstract

We compared health status, anthropometric and psychological development of 123 children adopted before 18 months of age from China, East Asia (Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, Cambodia), and Eastern Europe (mostly Russia). Data were collected close to the time of arrival, and 3 and 6 months later. Anthropometric measures included weight, height, and head circumference percentiles, and weight/height and height/age ratios (indices of acute and chronic malnutrition, respectively). We assessed cognitive (MDI) and motor (PDI) developments with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (Bayley, 1993). At time of arrival, children presented physical, cognitive, and motor delays, as well as health problems. Growth parameters improved with time, but differently among the groups. East Asian children, in a better physical state at time of arrival, changed less than the others did across time. Children adopted from Russia globally had lower MDI than the others, while children adopted from East Asia had the highest PDI. Hierarchical linear modelling indicated that initial MDI was related to height/age ratio (index of chronic malnutrition), while its change over time was related to age at time of arrival. PDI was also related to height/age ratio, as well as to presence/absence of neurological signs at time of arrival. Infants with a higher risk index had lower MDI and PDI initial scores.

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