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Effect of maternal deprivation on child development: A comparative study between orphanage and urban slum children in Odisha, India.

Sourajit Routray*, Nijwm Mahilary, Rajkumar Paul


Objectives: To compare the development of children living in orphanage with that of the children living in slum with their biological parents.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: 3 orphanages of Bhubaneswar, one orphanage of Cuttack and two slum areas in Bhubaneswar.

Subject and methods: Total 146 children were included in our study, 73 from orphanage and 73 from urban slum. The total number of homes visited in slum were 217, out of which 201 gave consent for the study, 89 met our inclusion criteria. 73 children were selected by simple random method. Each child was examined, height, weight was recorded and physical examination was done. Each caretaker in the orphanage and mothers in the slum were questioned thoroughly by interview using a predesigned pretested proforma. Development was assessed by DDST-II.

Results: 73 Children 0-60 months were taken for the study from four different orphanages. Out of 73 children, total developmental delay was found in 37% of orphan children, 26% had global delay & 11% had isolated delay and 13.7% delay among the urban slum children, 4.1% had global delay and 9.6% had isolated delay. The caregiver to child ratio is 1:5 to 1:7 in orphanages.

Conclusion: Developmental delay among children residing in orphanages are observed to be high as compared to children living in urban slum with their parents. Despite the availability of good health facilities, and adequate nutrition to the children living in orphanages, they suffer from developmental delay due to maternal care deprivation. The Government should open up more number of orphanages with more caregivers for better care of the individual orphan children.


Meternal deprivation; Child Development; Orphan

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