Author(s): Nair P, Black MM, Ackerman JP, Schuler ME, Keane VA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine how prenatal drug exposure (PDE) and caregiving environment relate to cognitive, academic, and behavioral performance at ages 6 and 7. METHODS: A longitudinal follow-up was conducted of 111 children with PDE and a community cohort of 62 non-drug-exposed children (N = 173). Children completed standardized tests of cognition (Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fourth Edition [SB-IV]) and academic performance (Wide Range Achievement Test 3). Caregivers completed ratings of child behavior problems (Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL]). Multivariate analyses were conducted, adjusting for gender, prenatal tobacco exposure, number of caregiver placement changes, and 3 caregiver variables assessed at age 7, including depressive symptoms, employment status, and public assistance status. RESULTS: After adjusting for perinatal and environmental variables, there were no significant exposure-group differences in cognition, academic performance, or behavior problems. In comparison with males, females had higher scores on overall IQ and 4 of 8 SB-IV subtests, fewer caregiver-reported attention and aggression problems, and higher reading achievement scores. There were no significant gender-by-group interactions. CONCLUSION: When analyses were adjusted for perinatal and environmental variables, most associations between PDE and cognitive-behavioral functioning were attenuated. Regardless of drug exposure history, males performed more poorly than females on multiple cognitive-behavioral indices. Both exposed and nonexposed children were from low-income families and obtained scores substantially below normative expectations.
This article was published in Ambul Pediatr
and referenced in Pharmaceutica Analytica Acta