Patterns of Cognitive-Motor Development in Children With Fetal Alcohol Syndrome From a Community in South Africa

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2001 Apr;25(4):557-62.

Abstract

Background: Even though fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) has been reported in nonwestern nations, there is a paucity of information on neurodevelopment in the affected children from those nations. This article reports on a study of cognitive-motor development in a group of children with FAS from a community in the Western Cape Province in South Africa.

Methods: Thirty-four children with FAS and 34 controls from grade 1 (school entry level) classes participated. The two groups comprised Afrikaans-speaking children of mixed ancestry (South African Colored) and were matched for age, sex, and family income. The Griffiths Mental Development Scales were used to assess cognitive motor development of the participants.

Results: A multivariate analysis of covariance was performed to test the group effect on the combined Griffiths subscales adjusting for maternal education. The results showed a significant group effect. Follow-up analyses revealed that a combination of four subscales (Speech and Hearing, Performance, Practical Reasoning, and Eye and Hand Coordination) primarily contributed to the overall effect. Although there was a marginal effect on the Personal-Social subscale, no significant effect on the Locomotor (gross motor) subscale was found.

Conclusions: The results showed that the FAS group was markedly deficient only in higher-order cognitive-motor competencies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cognition Disorders / complications
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / complications
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Skills Disorders / complications
  • Motor Skills Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Motor Skills Disorders / psychology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pregnancy
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Africa / epidemiology