Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine and Associated Risk Factors on Language Development During the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children born with prenatal exposure to cocaine. However, there is very little hard data concerning the later development of these children. The purpose of this preliminary study was to compare the language development profiles of 5 ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1995
Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine and Associated Risk Factors on Language Development
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michelle Mentis
    Boston University
  • Kristine Lundgren
    Boston University
  • Contact author: Michelle Mentis, PhD, Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215. E-mail: mmentis@acs.bu.edu
Article Information
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Language Disorders / Social Communication & Pragmatics Disorders / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1995
Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Cocaine and Associated Risk Factors on Language Development
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1995, Vol. 38, 1303-1318. doi:10.1044/jshr.3806.1303
History: Received June 17, 1994 , Accepted April 10, 1995
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1995, Vol. 38, 1303-1318. doi:10.1044/jshr.3806.1303
History: Received June 17, 1994; Accepted April 10, 1995

During the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children born with prenatal exposure to cocaine. However, there is very little hard data concerning the later development of these children. The purpose of this preliminary study was to compare the language development profiles of 5 children prenatally exposed to cocaine and associated risk factors to the language development profiles of a matched non-exposed control group in terms of analyses of the discourse-pragmatic, semantic, and form components of language. The language evaluation was based on the analysis of a 30-minute language sample. The results suggested differences between the two groups as well as differences within the cocaine-exposed group. The major differences between the two groups were in discourse-pragmatics although less marked differences in syntactic development were also found. The results are discussed in relation to the potential contribution of pertinent medical and environmental risk factors. The study suggests that for children with prenatal exposure to cocaine in combination with multiple associated risk factors, language development may be compromised.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by NIDCD Research Grant 5 R03 DC01601-02. The authors would like to thank Elise Wagner for her invaluable help in the data collection and transcription parts of this study. We are also indebted to Margo Kaplan-Sanoff for her wisdom, time, and invaluable help in the selection, recruitment, and coordination of subjects. We would also like to thank Carol Brooks, Karen Bresnahan, and Kathleen Fitzgerald for their time and help. Finally, we would like to thank Elizabeth Skarakis-Doyle, associate editor, and an anonymous reviewer for their extremely insightful and valuable comments on an earlier version of this paper.
Order a Subscription
Pay Per View
Entire Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research content & archive
24-hour access
This Article
24-hour access