Responses to emotion-inducing stimuli were examined in 27, 3- to 6-year-old children, who were prenatally exposed to cocaine, and 27 unexposed controls. Children were monitored for EEG activity and their affect during an infant crying, simulated maternal distress, and a mildly frustrating task. Multivariate analyses indicated that the cocaine-exposed children had greater right frontal EEG asymmetry, showed fewer empathic reactions to a crying infant as well as to their own mothers, and they were less proficient in completing a cooperative task. These findings highlight the need for continued longitudinal research on the effects of early drug exposure for later socioemotional development.
- Cocaine use
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