The Overview of International Research on the Effects of Being a Child in the Conditions of Institutionalisation: How to Achieve Positive Results



The review is devoted to research in the field of institutionalization of children left without parental care, and aims to determine what improvements can be made to ensure the best result in the development of children in these conditions. The current model of institutionalization based on deprivation, negative factors of development, seems limited and outdated. The results of the research are considered within the framework of the bioecological model of development of W. Bronfenbrenner. The analysis of publications shows that there is convincing evidence that the quality of institutional care at the exosystem level has a significant impact on the well-being of children and provides long-term positive results in the physical, cognitive, behavioral and emotional development of the child. The review shows that when institutional care is combined with certain protective factors, it does not always lead to negative consequences in the child’s development. Countries that set higher standards of institutional care for children, and specialists who apply measures that correspond to the identified predictors of full-fledged development, can see that institutional care can be a viable option when adequate care based on a foster family is not possible.

General Information

Keywords: orphans, institutionalization, institutional care, bioecological model of development, intervention, educators

Journal rubric: Social Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The article was written within the state assignment of the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation “Scientific and methodological development of the children’s well-being assessment system in the Russian Federation” No. 121061500154-6.

For citation: Semya G.V. The Overview of International Research on the Effects of Being a Child in the Conditions of Institutionalisation: How to Achieve Positive Results [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sotsial’nye nauki i detstvo = Social Sciences and Childhood, 2021. Vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 73–84. DOI: 10.17759/ssc.2021020106. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Galina V. Semya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Professor of the Department of Developmental Psychology named after Professor L.F. Obukhova" Faculty of Educational Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Professor of the Department of Psychological Anthropology of the Institute of Childhood of the Moscow Pedagogical State University., Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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