Importance of stability of early living arrangements on behavior outcomes of children with and without prenatal drug exposure

Henrietta S. Bada, John Langer, Jean Twomey, Charlotte Bursi, Linda Lagasse, Charles R Bauer, Seetha Shankaran, Barry M. Lester, Rosemary Higgins, Penelope L. Maza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:: We evaluated whether living arrangements of children with or without prenatal drug exposure would be associated with their behavior outcomes and adaptive functioning. METHODS:: A total of 1388 children with or without prenatal cocaine or opiate exposure were enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study at 1 month of age, were seen at intervals, tracked over time for their living situation, and evaluated for behavior problems and adaptive functioning at 3 years of age. The Child Behavior Checklist and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales were administered. Using multiple regression models, we determined the factors that would predict behavior problems and adaptive functioning. RESULTS:: Of the children enrolled, 1092 children were evaluated. Total and externalizing behavior problems T scores of children in relative care were lower (better) than those in parental care; externalizing behavior scores were lower than those in nonrelative care (p < .05). Total behavior problem scores increased 2.3 and 1.3 points, respectively, with each move per year and each year of Child Protective Services involvement. Compared to children in nonrelative care, those in parental or relative care had higher (better) scores in the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales total composite (p < .023), communication (p < .045), and daily living (p < .001). Each caretaker change was associated with a decrease of 2.65 and 2.19 points, respectively, in communication and daily living scores. CONCLUSION:: Children's living arrangements were significantly associated with childhood behavior problems and adaptive functioning. The instability of living situation was also a significant predictor of these outcomes. While family preservation continues to be the goal of the child welfare system, expediting decision toward permanency remains paramount once children are placed in foster care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-182
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume29
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008

Fingerprint

Child Behavior
Psychological Adaptation
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Opiate Alkaloids
Communication
Checklist
Cocaine
Child Welfare
Longitudinal Studies
Cohort Studies
Problem Behavior

Keywords

  • Child behavior
  • Out-of-home-care
  • Prenatal cocaine
  • Prenatal opiate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Importance of stability of early living arrangements on behavior outcomes of children with and without prenatal drug exposure. / Bada, Henrietta S.; Langer, John; Twomey, Jean; Bursi, Charlotte; Lagasse, Linda; Bauer, Charles R; Shankaran, Seetha; Lester, Barry M.; Higgins, Rosemary; Maza, Penelope L.

In: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Vol. 29, No. 3, 01.06.2008, p. 173-182.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bada, HS, Langer, J, Twomey, J, Bursi, C, Lagasse, L, Bauer, CR, Shankaran, S, Lester, BM, Higgins, R & Maza, PL 2008, 'Importance of stability of early living arrangements on behavior outcomes of children with and without prenatal drug exposure', Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 173-182. https://doi.org/10.1097/DBP.0b013e3181644a79
Bada, Henrietta S. ; Langer, John ; Twomey, Jean ; Bursi, Charlotte ; Lagasse, Linda ; Bauer, Charles R ; Shankaran, Seetha ; Lester, Barry M. ; Higgins, Rosemary ; Maza, Penelope L. / Importance of stability of early living arrangements on behavior outcomes of children with and without prenatal drug exposure. In: Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2008 ; Vol. 29, No. 3. pp. 173-182.
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AU - Lagasse, Linda

AU - Bauer, Charles R

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N2 - OBJECTIVE:: We evaluated whether living arrangements of children with or without prenatal drug exposure would be associated with their behavior outcomes and adaptive functioning. METHODS:: A total of 1388 children with or without prenatal cocaine or opiate exposure were enrolled in a longitudinal cohort study at 1 month of age, were seen at intervals, tracked over time for their living situation, and evaluated for behavior problems and adaptive functioning at 3 years of age. The Child Behavior Checklist and Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales were administered. Using multiple regression models, we determined the factors that would predict behavior problems and adaptive functioning. RESULTS:: Of the children enrolled, 1092 children were evaluated. Total and externalizing behavior problems T scores of children in relative care were lower (better) than those in parental care; externalizing behavior scores were lower than those in nonrelative care (p < .05). Total behavior problem scores increased 2.3 and 1.3 points, respectively, with each move per year and each year of Child Protective Services involvement. Compared to children in nonrelative care, those in parental or relative care had higher (better) scores in the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales total composite (p < .023), communication (p < .045), and daily living (p < .001). Each caretaker change was associated with a decrease of 2.65 and 2.19 points, respectively, in communication and daily living scores. CONCLUSION:: Children's living arrangements were significantly associated with childhood behavior problems and adaptive functioning. The instability of living situation was also a significant predictor of these outcomes. While family preservation continues to be the goal of the child welfare system, expediting decision toward permanency remains paramount once children are placed in foster care.

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