Cognitive abilities of African American children with prenatal cocaine/polydrug exposure.J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2006 May; 17(2):400-12.JH
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of prenatal cocaine/polydrug exposure on cognitive abilities of school-aged children. The study examined differences in the performance of low income prenatal cocaine/polydrug-exposed and non-exposed African American children (n=49) between 6 and 8 years of age, on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Third Edition. Twenty-five children had a history of prenatal cocaine/polydrug exposure and 24 had no known history. The groups were matched for age, sex, and socioeconomic status. Test scores determined if drug exposure predicted global intelligence score and if there were significant differences between the two groups in specific areas of cognitive ability assessed. Drug exposure predicted IQ scores, as drug-exposed children performed significantly lower than their non-exposed counterparts on global intelligence and verbal comprehension, but comparably on the freedom from distractibility tasks. On individual cognitive tasks, the performances of cocaine/polydrug-exposed and non-exposed children were comparable on 8 of the 11 tasks assessed. The findings call into question earlier predictions about cocaine-exposed children.