Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Orphaned children exhibit genetic changes that require nurturing parents, study finds

Date:
December 6, 2011
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Children who experience the stress of separation at birth from biological parents and are brought up in orphanages undergo biological consequences such as changes in their genome functioning, researchers report in a new study.

Children who experience the stress of separation at birth from biological parents and are brought up in orphanages undergo biological consequences such as changes in their genome functioning, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a new study.

Published online in the current issue of Development and Psychopathology, the study reports differences in DNA methylation, one of the main regulatory mechanisms of gene expression, or genome functioning. The investigators compared two cohorts: 14 children raised since birth in institutional care and 14 children raised by their biological parents.

Senior author Elena Grigorenko, associate professor at the Yale Child Study Center, and her colleagues took blood samples from children aged 7 to 10 living in orphanages and children growing up in typical families in the northwest region of the Russian Federation. They then profiled the genomes of all the children to identify which biological processes and pathways might be affected by deprivation of parental attention and care.

The team found that in the institutionalized group, there was a greater number of changes in the genetic regulation of the systems controlling immune response and inter-cellular interactions, including a number of important mechanisms in the development and function of the brain.

"Our study shows that the early stress of separation from a biological parent impacts long-term programming of genome function; this might explain why adopted children may be particularly vulnerable to harsh parenting in terms of their physical and mental health," said Grigorenko. "Parenting adopted children might require much more nurturing care to reverse these changes in genome regulation."

Other authors on the study included Oksana Naumova, Maria Lee, Roman Koposov, Moshe Szyf, and Mary Dozier.

The study was funded by the Foundation for Child Development, the USA National Institute of Mental Health, and Edna Bennett Pierce.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Yale University. The original article was written by Karen N. Peart. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Oksana Yu. Naumova, Maria Lee, Roman Koposov, Moshe Szyf, Mary Dozier, Elena L. Grigorenko. Differential patterns of whole-genome DNA methylation in institutionalized children and children raised by their biological parents. Development and Psychopathology, 2011; DOI: 10.1017/S0954579411000605

Cite This Page:

Yale University. "Orphaned children exhibit genetic changes that require nurturing parents, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205140515.htm>.
Yale University. (2011, December 6). Orphaned children exhibit genetic changes that require nurturing parents, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205140515.htm
Yale University. "Orphaned children exhibit genetic changes that require nurturing parents, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205140515.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Food Addiction Might Be Caused By PTSD

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) New research shows that women who suffer from PTSD are three times more likely to develop a food addiction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins