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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 2005 Mar-Apr;27(2):203-11. Epub 2004 Nov 26.

School performance of children with gestational cocaine exposure.

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Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, United States.



To document school performance (pass/fail, grade point average, reading level, standardized test scores, absences) of cocaine-exposed and control children.


A total of 135 children (62 with gestational cocaine exposure and 73 without), who were enrolled at birth, followed prospectively and have completed the fourth grade, were evaluated using report card data, standardized test results, teacher and parent report, and natal and early childhood data. Successful grade progression was defined as completing grades 1 through 4 without being retained.


Cocaine-exposed (cocaine-exposed presented first) and control children were similar in school performance: successful grade progression (71% vs. 84%), Grade Point Average (2.4+/-0.8 vs. 2.6+/-0.7), reading below grade level (30% vs. 28%) and standardized test scores below average (reading [32% vs. 35%], math [57% vs. 44%], science [39% vs. 36%]); all p > or = 0.10. Children with successful progression, regardless of cocaine exposure, had higher Full Scale Intelligence Quotient and better home environments.


In this inner-city cohort, cocaine-exposed and control children had similar poor school performance. Better home environment and higher Intelligence Quotient conferred an advantage for successful grade progression, regardless of gestational cocaine exposure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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