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Article Reference Troff document (with manpage macros)Externalizing trajectories predict elevated inflammation among adolescents exposed to early institutional rearing: A randomized clinical trial
  BACKGROUND: There has been mounting interest in the pathophysiological relation between inflammation and psychopathology. In this paper, we examined associations between internalizing and externalizing psychopathology and inflammation in adolescents with a history of severe psychosocial deprivation and children reared in typical family contexts. METHOD: The Bucharest Early Intervention Project is a longitudinal randomized trial of high-quality foster care as an alternative to institutional care. This report is based on 56 institutionalized children randomized to care as usual, 59 institutionalized children randomized to foster care, and 101 never institutionalized children who were recruited as an in-country comparison sample. Externalizing and internalizing behaviors were reported by parents and teachers at ages 8, 12, and 16. At age 16, C-reactive protein (CRP) was derived from blood spots in a subset of participants (n = 127). Multiple-group latent growth curve models were used to examine externalizing and internalizing trajectories and their associations with CRP. RESULTS: Among children assigned to care as usual, higher levels of externalizing behaviors at age 8, as well as smaller decreases in these behaviors from 8 to 16 years predicted higher levels of CRP at age 16. In the same group of children, higher internalizing behaviors at age 8, but not the rate of change in these behaviors, also predicted higher levels of CRP. In contrast, these relations were not observed in the children assigned to foster care and never institutionalized controls. CONCLUSIONS: Early institutional rearing is associated with a coupling of psychopathology and inflammation, whereas early placement into foster care buffers against these risks. These findings have implications for promoting healthy mental and physical development amongst institutionalized children.
Located in Retired Persons / Natalie Slopen, Sc.D. / Natalie Slopen Publications