A recent UCLA research study has found something that many of us that work with children who have been in foster care or institutionalized in infancy already know and see everyday. Kids who are separated or neglected by their parents or primary caregivers early in life are prone to what they are calling "indescriminate friendliness" towards strangers - and anyone really, which can continue throughout their life.
What does this mean? It means that these children, (often your kids with reactive attachment disorders) approach all adults and strangers in somewhat the same manner - with an inappropriate willingness and outward friendliness. These changes are not simply a habit they picked up to survive in an ever changing world of adults, but actually have a foundation in physical brain-changes that occur due to social neglect.
According to the study, " The early relationship between children and their parents or primary caregivers has implications for their social interaction later in life, and we believe the amygdala is involved in this process," said Aviva Olsavsky, a resident physician in psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA and the study's first author. "Our findings suggest that even for children who have formed attachments to their adoptive parents, this early period of deprivation has led to changes in the brain that were likely adaptations and that may persist over time."
Indiscriminate friendliness is in some sense a misnomer. The behavior is not characterized by a deep friendliness but simply by a lack of reticence that most young children show toward strangers."
The study, based on MRI examinations in part, raises many additional questions, " What, if any, effects does early maternal deprivation has on children as they move into adulthood? And do these findings also apply to less severe forms of deprivation, such as neglectful home environments? The researchers are continuing to use fMRI to examine the role of parents in brain development and the contribution of early experiences to mental health outcomes later in life."
What do you think?
Read more on the study here at Science Daily
and be sure to read our post : http://fosterparentrescue.blogspot.com/2012/03/why-kids-that-hug-everyone-trust-no-one.html