The developmental implications of prenatal and/or postnatal crack cocaine exposure in preschool children: A preliminary report

Suzanne L. Bender, Carl O. Word, Ralph J. DiCLEMENTE, Mary R. Crittenden, Nalini A. Persaud, Lynn E. Ponton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Previous studies examining the development of prenatally cocaine-exposed children through 3 years of age have found no significant differences between exposed and control groups. This study explored the developmental correlates of prenatal and/or postnatal crack cocaine exposure in children between 4 and 6 years of age. Three groups were studied: Group 1, 18 prenatally—exposed children whose mothers continue to use crack; Group II, 28 children without prenatal exposure whose mothers presently use crack; and Group III, 28 children whose mothers never used crack. Mothers were street-recruited and were comparable in race and socioeconomic status. The three groups of children did not differ on neurological gross motor and expressive language measures. However, prenatally exposed children performed significantly worse than others on receptive language and visual motor drawing tests. Prenatal crack exposure predicted poor visual motor performance even after control for intrauterine alcohol and marijuana exposure, age, birth weight, and duration of maternal crack use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)418-424
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume16
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1995

Keywords

  • cocaine
  • crack
  • developmental outcomes
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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