Behavioral development in children prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol

Int J Addict. 1993 Nov;28(13):1393-433. doi: 10.3109/10826089309062192.


Empirical research on the behavioral consequences to the offspring of use of recreational and addictive drugs and alcohol by pregnant women is reviewed. The current epidemic of cocaine use has raised the specter of a host of "cocaine babies" whose prenatally induced impairments will interfere with social and academic functioning and constitute an immense social burden. In fact, examination of effects of drug exposure on infant behavior and subsequent development suggests a much more subtle and complicated process which must take into account not only the child's prenatal exposure but the various other environmental factors which contribute to eventual outcome. These other factors include caregiving competence and social environment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / chemically induced
  • Developmental Disabilities / chemically induced
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Behavior
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*