Severity of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Child Language Functioning Through Age Seven Years: A Longitudinal Latent Growth Curve Analysis

Emmalee S. Bandstra, April L. Vogel, Connie E. Morrow, Lihua Xue, James C. Anthony

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study estimates the longitudinal effects of severity of prenatal cocaine exposure on language functioning in an urban sample of full-term African-American children (200 cocaine-exposed, 176 noncocaine-exposed) through age 7 years. The Miami Prenatal Cocaine Study sample was enrolled prospectively at birth, with documentation of prenatal drug exposure status through maternal interview and toxicology assays of maternal and infant urine and infant meconium. Language functioning was measured at ages 3 and 5 years using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool (CELF-P) and at age 7 years using the Core Language Domain of the NEPSY: A Developmental Neuropsychological Assessment. Longitudinal latent growth curve analyses were used to examine two components of language functioning, a more stable aptitude for language performance and a time-varying trajectory of language development, across the three time points and their relationship to varying levels of prenatal cocaine exposure. Severity of prenatal cocaine exposure was characterized using a latent construct combining maternal self-report of cocaine use during pregnancy by trimesters and maternal and infant bioassays, allowing all available information to be taken into account. The association between severity of exposure and language functioning was examined within a model including factors for fetal growth, gestational age, and IQ as intercorrelated response variables and child's age, gender, and prenatal alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana exposure as covariates. Results indicated that greater severity of prenatal cocaine exposure was associated with greater deficits within the more stable aptitude for language performance (D = -0.071, 95% CI = -0.133, -0.009; p = 0.026). There was no relationship between severity of prenatal cocaine exposure and the time-varying trajectory of language development. The observed cocaine-associated deficit was independent of multiple alternative suspected sources of variation in language performance, including other potential responses to prenatal cocaine exposure, such as child's intellectual functioning, and other birth and postnatal influences, including language stimulation in the home environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-59
Number of pages35
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume39
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 5 2004

Keywords

  • Language performance
  • Prenatal cocaine exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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