Behavioral control dynamics and developmental outcomes in infants prenatally exposed to cocaine

Zachary E. Warren, Neena M. Malik, Kristin M. Lindahl, Angelika H. Claussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This study longitudinally examined the associations between mother-infant interactions at 15 months and behavioral and cognitive outcomes at 36 months of age in a sample of at-risk, young children. Participants for the current study were 58 infants/toddlers prenatally exposed to cocaine and their maternal caregivers. These infants were from a low socioeconomic status background and were part of an intervention setting. When the children were 12, 15, and 36 months, they participated in research sessions with their maternal caregivers. Cognitive development at 12 months and maternal and infant behavior at 15 months were measured to predict behavioral and cognitive outcome at 36 months. Higher levels of maternal control at 15 months were marginally significant in predicting higher levels of problem behavior at 36 months whereas higher levels of infant resistance to control predicted lower levels of problem behavior. Furthermore, control-resistant behavior displayed by infants was a unique buffer against problem behavior, even after controlling for maternal factors and cognitive abilities. These findings suggest that maternal control attempts and infant reactions to those maternal control behaviors play an important role in the development of adaptive and maladaptive behavior patterns during early childhood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-140
Number of pages20
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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