Examining the effects of fetal ``crack'' cocaine exposure on the *development of infants during the neonatal period

Israel Feliciano, Pace University


This study was conducted in an effort to assess the possible teratogenic effects of fetal exposure to "crack" cocaine on the development of infants during the neonatal period. The principle assessment tool employed in this study was the Brazelton Neonatal Assessment Scale (NBAS). Infants were also assessed with respect to the presence of neurologic signs, as well as gestational age, birth weight, and head circumference. An effort was made to relate these characteristics to degree of exposure to "crack", and an effort was made to take into account the possible effects of other factors such as cigarette smoking, weight gain during pregnancy, and consumption of alcohol. This study also made an attempt to control for possible confounding variables (e.g., exposure to other drugs). That is, infants who were exposed to other drugs in addition to "crack" (e.g., heroin, methadone) were excluded from this study. Significant findings were obtained on two of the seven Brazelton subscales (i.e., range of state, and autonomic stability), smoking and weight gain during pregnancy, and extent of "crack" use during pregnancy. However, some of the findings were at variance with several prior studies which indicated a negative relationship between maternal substance abuse and birth weight, length, and head circumference. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Obstetrics and Gynecology|Health Sciences, Toxicology|Health Sciences, Human Development

Recommended Citation

Feliciano, Israel, "Examining the effects of fetal ``crack'' cocaine exposure on the *development of infants during the neonatal period" (1998). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI9823595.



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