Language Outcomes at 12 Years for Children Exposed Prenatally to Cocaine PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to examine the long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) on the language development of 12-year-old children using a prospective design, controlling for confounding prenatal drug exposure and environmental factors.MethodChildren who were exposed to cocaine in utero (PCE; n = 183) and children who ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2013
Language Outcomes at 12 Years for Children Exposed Prenatally to Cocaine
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Barbara A. Lewis
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Sonia Minnes
    Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Elizabeth J. Short
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Meeyoung O. Min
    Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Miaoping Wu
    Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Adelaide Lang
    Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Paul Weishampel
    Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Lynn T. Singer
    Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
  • Correspondence to Barbara A. Lewis: bxl@case.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting
    Editor and Associate Editor: Janna Oetting×
Article Information
Development / Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Normal Language Processing / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Language
Article   |   October 01, 2013
Language Outcomes at 12 Years for Children Exposed Prenatally to Cocaine
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1662-1676. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0119)
History: Received April 12, 2012 , Revised August 20, 2012 , Accepted January 16, 2013
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, October 2013, Vol. 56, 1662-1676. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2013/12-0119)
History: Received April 12, 2012; Revised August 20, 2012; Accepted January 16, 2013
Web of Science® Times Cited: 3

PurposeIn this study, the authors aimed to examine the long-term effects of prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) on the language development of 12-year-old children using a prospective design, controlling for confounding prenatal drug exposure and environmental factors.

MethodChildren who were exposed to cocaine in utero (PCE; n = 183) and children who were not exposed to cocaine (i.e., no cocaine exposure [NCE]; n = 181) were followed prospectively from birth to 12 years of age and were compared on language subtests of the Test of Language Development—Intermediate, Third Edition (Hammill & Newcomer, 1997b), and phonological processing as measured by the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (Wagner & Torgesen, 1999). The authors evaluated the relationship of PCE to language development through a multivariate analysis of covariance and regression analyses while controlling for confounders.

ResultsResults show that PCE has small effects on specific aspects of language, including syntax and phonological processing. The caregiver variables of lower maternal vocabulary, more psychological symptoms, and a poorer home environment also had consistent effects on language and phonological processing scores.

ConclusionsThese findings suggest that PCE continues to have small, subtle effects on specific aspects of language at age 12 years. Phonological processing skills were significantly related to the reading outcomes of letter–word identification, reading fluency, and reading comprehension, indicating that PCE also has small but lasting effects on the language skills that are related to later literacy skills.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported by National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant R01-DA07957. Thanks are extended to Terri Lotz-Ganley for manuscript preparation, Laurie Ellison for research assistance, and the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Department of Children and Family Services.
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