Self-concept development of children in institutional care, alternative care types and biological family homes: Testing differential susceptibility

ERTEKİN Z., Berument S.

APPLIED DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, vol.25, no.4, pp.307-321, 2021 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/10888691.2019.1617146
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, EBSCO Education Source, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), PAIS International, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index
  • Page Numbers: pp.307-321
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The first aim of the study was to examine the differences in self-concept development of children residing in institutions, care villages, group homes, foster care, or with biological families (low socioeconomic status [SES] and middle SES). The second aim was to investigate children's susceptibility to these environmental variations from a differential susceptibility theory perspective tested by temperamental characteristics. Self-concept in three to five-year-old children was assessed using puppet interviews and parent/caregiver questionnaires. The results indicated that parent/caregiver reported self-concept scores for children residing in institutions significantly differed from that of the foster care and biological family groups. Care village group differed from both biological family groups, and group home differed from the middle-SES family group. Furthermore, the temperamental characteristics of children played a moderator role between care types and self-development. High perceptual sensitivity and high frustration levels were found as a protective factor for children in institutions compared to children in group homes, foster care, and family groups.