Background image

USDTL Assisted Research

Expressive and Receptive Language Functioning in Preschool Children with Prenatal Cocaine Exposure

Morrow CE, Vogel AL, Anthony JC, Ofir AY, Dausa AT, Bandstra ES.

First Published: 01 October 2004   DIO:

Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.


Glass medical ampoule vial for medicine

Sourced by Freepik© Stock


To estimate the relationship between the severity of prenatal cocaine exposure and expressive and receptive language skills in full-term African American children at age 3 years.


The language was assessed at age 3 using the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Preschool (CELF-P). The sample included 424 children (226 cocaine exposed, 198 non-cocaine exposed) who received preschool language assessments at age 3, drawn from a cohort of 476 children enrolled prospectively at birth.


Structural equation modeling was used to regress expressive and receptive language as intercorrelated response variables on the level of prenatal cocaine exposure, measured by a latent construct including maternal self-report of cocaine use and maternal/infant urine toxicology assays and infant meconium. Results indicated a.168 SD decrease in expressive language functioning for every unit increase in exposure level (95% CI = -.320, -.015; p =.031) after consideration for fetal growth and gestational age as correlated response variables. The receptive language was more modestly related to prenatal cocaine exposure and was not statistically significant. Results for expressive language remained stable with the inclusion of the McCarthy general cognitive index as a response variable (expressive language beta = -.173, 95% CI = -.330, -.016; p =.031), and with adjustment for maternal age and prenatal exposures to alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana (expressive language beta = -.175, 95% CI = -.347, -.003; p =.046). Additional child and caregiver environmental variables assessed at age 3 were also evaluated in varying statistical models with similar results.


The evidence from this study supports a gradient relationship between increased levels of prenatal cocaine exposure and decreased expressive language functioning in preschool-aged cocaine-exposed children.

Read the Full Article      Learn More on Newborn Testing

Contact USDTL


Client Services

By Phone: 1.800.235.2367
Business Hours (CST)
Monday....................7am-7pm Tuesday....................7am-7pm Wednesday.............7am-7pm Thursday..................7am-7pm Friday........................7am-7pm Saturday...................8am-5pm

Contact Client Services

Newsletters, Posters, and Catalogs

Our print materials will keep you up to date on the latest news in drug and alcohol testing.

Request Literature

Request Your Collection Supplies

For your convenience, USDTL provides test collection supplies at no additional charge.

Order Supplies