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J Speech Hear Res. 1995 Dec;38(6):1303-18.

Effects of prenatal exposure to cocaine and associated risk factors on language development.

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Boston University, Sargent College of Allied Health Professions, MA 02215, USA.


During the past decade there has been a dramatic increase in the number of children born with prenatal exposure to cocaine. However, there is very little hard data concerning the later development of these children. The purpose of this preliminary study was to compare the language development profiles of 5 children prenatally exposed to cocaine and associated risk factors to the language development profiles of a matched non-exposed control group in terms of analyses of the discourse-pragmatic, semantic, and form components of language. The language evaluation was based on the analysis of a 30-minute language sample. The results suggested differences between the two groups as well as differences within the cocaine-exposed group. The major differences between the two groups were in discourse-pragmatics although less marked differences in syntactic development were also found. The results are discussed in relation to the potential contribution of pertinent medical and environmental risk factors. The study suggests that for children with prenatal exposure to cocaine in combination with multiple associated risk factors, language development may be compromised.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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