Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics: Romania's Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Republics: Romania's Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery

Article excerpt

Romania's Abandoned Children: Deprivation, Brain Development, and the Struggle for Recovery BY CHARLES A. NELSON, NATHAN A. FOX, AND CHARLES H. ZEANAH. Harvard University Press, 2014, 416 pp. $29.95.

The Ceausescu regime's misguided policies on population growth and on the treatment of abandoned children left as many as 170,000 Romanian children in appallingly bad institutions. After a decade of local efforts to deal with the immense damage done to those children, Nelson and his colleagues established the Bucharest Early Inter- vention Project in 2000. They are not social scientists but rather specialists in pediatrics, neuroscience, human devel- opment, and psychiatry, and their project was an elaborate 12-year randomized survey comparing the effects on young children of institutionalization to those of foster care. …

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