Language and Psychosocial Skills of Institutionalized Children in Greece

Asimina Ralli, Schiza Melpomeni, and Tsiatsiou Alexandra - The Open Family Studies Journal


Background: Institutionalization is increasingly acknowledged as a poor policy for the children. Every country has important responsibilities concerning the protection and promotion of children’s rights who are already in alternative care. Even a relatively short institutional placement may have long term negative consequences on children’s well-being and adult life.

Aim: The aim of the present study was to investigate the language and psychosocial skills of Greek institutionalized children in comparison to family raised children. Method: 60 preschool children (30 institutionalized children and 30 children brought up in families) participated in the study. The children ranged in age from 4 to 5 years of age. Children’s language and psychosocial skills were assessed.

Result: The results demonstrated that the institutionalized children had significantly lower scores in the expressive, receptive vocabulary, narrative skills and psychosocial adjustment in comparison to the children raised in families. These results are discussed in relation to their implications for policy makers in order to move towards the development of new policies, where children are taken care of in more supportive surroundings than an institution.