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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1997 May-Jun;19(3):171-83.

Reading and language in 9- to 12-year olds prenatally exposed to cigarettes and marijuana.

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Department of Psychology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Facets of reading and language were examined in 131 9- to 12-year-old children for whom prenatal exposure to marijuana and cigarettes had been ascertained. The subjects were from a low-risk, predominantly middle class sample who are participants in an ongoing longitudinal study. Discriminant Function Analysis revealed a dose-dependent association that remained after controlling for potential confounds, between prenatal cigarette exposure and lower language and lower reading scores, particularly on auditory-related aspects of this latter measure. The findings are interpreted as consistent with earlier observations of an association between cigarette smoking during pregnancy and altered auditory functioning in the offspring. Similarities and differences between the reading observations and dyslexia are discussed. Maternal prenatal passive smoke exposure did not appear to contribute to either the language or reading outcomes at this age but postnatal secondhand smoke exposure by the child was associated with poorer language scores. Prenatal marijuana exposure was not significantly related to either the reading or language outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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