Cognitive Functioning in 3-Year-Old Children Exposed Prenatally to Cocaineo(1997)
The objective of this longitudinal study is to determine the long-term neurocognitive effects of in utero cocaine exposure in preschool children. Study participants were 476 full-term, inner-city, African-American infants, enrolled prospectively at birth and categorized into a cocaine-exposed (COC), polydrug/non-cocaine exposed (POLY), and drug-free control (CONT) group. Cocaine exposure was defined by a combination of maternal report and/or positive urine or meconium toxicology assays. Both the COC and POLY groups included infants also exposed to varying combinations of alcohol, nicotine, and marijuana. The McCarthy Scales of Children's Abilities(MCSA) was administered as part of a detailed cognitive test battery to participants at approximately 3 years, 3 months of age. The groups did not differ in average test age. A total of 434 children were seen (91% of the total sample). Of these, nine children were untestable due to extremely severe cognitive or behavioral deficits. The groups did not differ, however, in the proportions of children who were untestable. Maternal education, an important correlate of child cognitive functioning, was not significantly different among the groups. Analysis of variance revealed no significant mean differences between the groups (total n=425) on the MCSA General Cognitive Index (GCI: standard mean=100, sd=15) or any of the Subscale Indices (standard mean=50, sd=10). The groups also did not differ in the proportion of children with Index scores falling more than 2 standard deviations below the normative mean. Means and standard deviations are reported below.
Citation InformationPediatric Research (1997) 41, 205–205