The Bucharest Early Intervention Project is a joint collaboration between researchers at Tulane University, University of Maryland, and Boston Children's Hospital.
The study, which began in the fall of 2000, seeks to examine the effects of early institutionalization on brain and behavior development, and to examine the impact of high quality foster care as an intervention for children who have been placed in institutions.
To date we have followed children from infancy through age twelve, assessing a wide range of developmental domains including measure of physical growth, cognitive function, social-emotional development, attachment, brain development, and more.
To learn more about our project and our findings, please click on the links above.
The Impact of Neglect
A growing body of research has shown that significant neglect can be profoundly harmful to a young child’s development. Indeed, as we have learned through our work in Bucharest, the results of neglect can be striking, including significant cognitive delays, increased risk for psychological disorders, and stunted physical growth. With approximately 8 million children growing up in institutions around the world and 75% of child abuse cases in the United States classified as neglect, it is an issue that demands our attention and concern. Two recent reports highlight both the science behind these issues and the potential policy implications.
For a more extensive review of child abuse and neglect research, please see New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research from the Institute of Medicine. The report, put together by a committee of experienced researchers and providers including the BEIP’s Charles Nelson, PhD, argues for the creation of a national strategic plan to help develop a coordinated research effort around these issues. You can read the full report here.