Providing Orphan Care Systems in Developing Countries

Rebekka Kelly
The Master’s College

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Abstract Research communicates that orphans, particularly in developing countries, have a significantly greater tendency towards symptoms related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is strongly suggested that the type of care orphans receive impacts the development of the orphan. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not the care system received by orphans significantly affects their socioemotional development. A survey using a four point Likert-attitudinal scale for measuring participant responses was distributed to students attending Preparation for Global Outreach (which is a required class for those preparing to go on a short-term missions trip) at the Master’s College. The survey results indicate an agreement with current research suggesting that care systems indeed impact the socioemotional progress of orphans in developing countries. It can be concluded that the symptoms generated by traumatic circumstances undergone by orphans can be alleviated in varying degrees based on the care system.

Review of the Literature Due to the overwhelming numbers of orphans throughout third-world countries, the importance of researching the effect of their adverse circumstances on their development is crucial. Many studies report psychological trauma associated with the situation experienced by orphans in crisis (Schaal & Elbert, 2006, p. 95). The growing population of orphans must impact the world as potential problems materialize into behavioral outpourings that will affect the societies of numerous countries as a whole. “’Childhood trauma is particularly significant because uncontrollable, terrifying experiences may have their most profound effects when the central nervous system and cognitive functions have not yet fully matured, leading to a global impairment that may be manifested in adulthood in psychopathological conditions’ (p. xii)” (Armsworth & Holaday, 1993, p. 49).

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