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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2005 Feb;26(1):42-7.

Attentional functioning and impulse control in cocaine-exposed and control children at age ten years.

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Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Children with gestational cocaine exposure may be at risk of difficulties in attentional functioning and impulse control. We administered the Gordon Diagnostic System and subtests of the Halstead-Reitan Battery to inner-city children with (COC) and without (CON) gestational cocaine exposure at age 10 years. Subtle differences were found between groups, with differences in Gordon Delay (Efficiency Ratio) and Gordon Distractibility (Total Commissions). With these two exceptions, children had similar performance, with both groups performing poorly. Attentional functioning and impulse control were also assessed in school. Teachers did not distinguish between COC and CON, although both groups presented behavioral problems. We conclude that gestational cocaine exposure may be associated with subtle problems in attention and impulse control, putting exposed children at higher risk of developing significant behavioral problems as cognitive demands increase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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