Author(s): Lynch ME, Kable JA, Coles CD
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: Although many studies have demonstrated effects of prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) on physical, cognitive, and behavioral development in children, few have focused on the long term effects on adults. In this study, data are presented on adaptive function and entry into adult roles in a community sample of young adults with PAE. The expectation was that prenatally exposed adults would show lower adaptive functioning and more difficulty with entry into adult roles than the non-exposed control group and that these effects would be related to the severity of PAE effects. METHOD: The predominantly African-American, low income sample included adults with a wide range of prenatal exposure (n = 123) as well as control groups for socioeconomic (SES) (n =5 9) and disability (n = 54) status. The mothers of the alcohol-exposed and SES-control group participants were recruited before birth and offspring have been followed up periodically. The disability control group was recruited in adolescence. The adults were interviewed about adaptive function in day-to-day life and adult role entry. Collateral adults who were well-acquainted with each participant were interviewed concerning adaptive function. RESULTS: Results showed that adults who were dysmorphic and/or cognitively affected by PAE had difficulty with adaptive function and entry into adult roles. Males showing cognitive effects with no physical effects were the most severely affected. Results for exposed adults not showing physical or cognitive effects were similar to or more positive than those of the control group for most outcomes. CONCLUSION: PAE has long-term effects on adaptive outcomes in early adulthood. Additional research should focus on possible interventions at this transition and on factors contributing to the adjustment of the exposed, but unaffected participants. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Neurotoxicol Teratol
and referenced in International Journal of Neurorehabilitation