Rosemarie Bigsby, Linda L. LaGasse, Barry Lester, Seetha Shankaran, Henrietta Bada, Charles Bauer, Jing Liu; Prenatal Cocaine Exposure and Motor Performance at 4 Months. Am J Occup Ther 2011;65(5):e60–e68. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.001263
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OBJECTIVE. The relation between prenatal cocaine exposure and quality of movement was studied at 4 mo using the Posture and Fine Motor Assessment of Infants (PFMAI–I).
METHOD. Posture and fine motor scores of 4-month-old infants exposed to cocaine in utero (n = 370) were compared with an unexposed group (n = 533) within the context of gestational age, medical and demographic characteristics, and level of prenatal substance exposure using the PFMAI–I.
RESULTS. Infants prenatally exposed to cocaine had significantly lower posture scores than infants in the unexposed group. There was no main effect of cocaine exposure on fine motor scores; however, there were independent effects of gestational age at birth on both posture and fine motor scores at 4-mo corrected age.
CONCLUSION. These findings demonstrate independent contributions of prenatal cocaine exposure and prematurity to risk of motor delay and support the validity of the PFMAI–I as a measure of motor competence in early infancy.
Varying education and socioeconomic status (SES);
Differing cultural, nutritional, and medical characteristics of cocaine-using mothers;
Disparity in the availability of social and community supports for the family; and
The strong probability that cocaine-using mothers also use other substances that potentially affect fetal development and childhood outcomes, such as tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, barbiturates, and heroin (Lester, LaGasse, & Seifer, 1998).
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