The Science of Neglect, Part Two

June 12, 2017 by Ned Holstein, MD, MS, Chair of the Board, National Parents Organization

I’m going to let the working paper on the effects on children of parental neglect speak for itself. Mostly. Recall from yesterday’s post that the type of neglect the researchers are writing about isn’t the garden variety “eighth-grader comes home from school and spends three hours without parents present” “neglect.” The neglect that truly harms kids is severe lack of interaction with parents. Much of their data come from children in institutional settings, often orphanages abroad in which the children get little attention at all and almost none from a single individual to whom they could look as a parent figure. And there’s essentially none of the vital “serve and return” type of interaction that’s proven to be necessary to children’s healthy mental/emotional/psychological functioning.

That said, here are some of the salient information on what that sort of severe neglect can do to kids.

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