Post-institutionalized kids carry many effects most being negative, such as difficulty with cognitive flexibility, inhibitory control and working memory.
The amygdalas of post-inst. kids react the same when seeing images of their loved ones vs. strangers whereas regular children's amygdalas show more activity when seeing a loved one.
Another effect is indiscriminate friendliness as a coping technique for social-starvation
In fact, the effects are so severe that psychiatrists observing American foster children in the late 90s believed that they were witnessing symptoms of domestic abuse.
One of these effects is in cortisol levels; post-inst. kids have consistently low levels of cortisol throughout the day, which can be fixed with attentive and level-headed caregivers.
Regular Cortisol LevelsPost-Inst. Cortisol Levels
Along with other notable behaviors, such as trouble with executive functioning (making the same mistakes without improvement) and rapid yet disorganized attachment to caregivers (at times caring and affectionate, at times cold and confused), early neglect in children has various negative effects on the neuroplasticity of the brain.
Next, a case study that demonstrates the main impacts...