Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intrauterine exposure to drugs does not affect academic achievement test scores, study suggests

Date:
March 5, 2012
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have found children's academic achievement test scores not affected by intrauterine exposure to cocaine, tobacco or marijuana. However, alcohol exposure in children who had no evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome did lead to lower scores in math reasoning and spelling even after controlling for other intrauterine substance exposures and contextual factors.

Researchers from Boston University Schools of Medicine (BUSM) and Public Health along with Boston Medical Center have found children's academic achievement test scores not affected by intrauterine exposure to cocaine, tobacco or marijuana. However, alcohol exposure in children who had no evidence of fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) did lead to lower scores in math reasoning and spelling even after controlling for other intrauterine substance exposures and contextual factors.

These findings currently appear on-line in the journal of Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies.

There has been widespread concern that intrauterine cocaine exposure (IUCE) may have harmful effects on children's academic performance, particularly at higher grades

requiring abstract reasoning and greater attention and control. Also unresolved is whether other intrauterine exposures, such as alcohol (IUAE), tobacco, and marijuana, which often co-occur with IUCE, independently affect children's academic abilities after controlling for other exposures.

Academic achievement scores (Wechsler Individual 15 Achievement Test-Second Edition (WIAT-II) were collected from 119, low-income, urban 11-year-olds who had been enrolled in a prospective longitudinal study of IUCE. The results indicate that neither IUCE nor intrauterine exposure to marijuana or tobacco was associated with lower WIAT-II scores.

"Our results are consistent with growing evidence that IUCE exposure does not independently predict poorer achievement scores in school-age children exposed to multiple other substance exposures and psychosocial stressors," explained lead author Ruth Rose-Jacobs, ScD, associate professor of pediatrics at BUSM and a research scientist at BMC.

However, according to Rose-Jacobs, the negative associations of IUAE on arithmetic reasoning and spelling were significant because the analyses had controlled for other substances; the children did not have FAS and had not been born preterm, all of which might negatively influenced achievement scores. The relationship between IUAE and achievement scores in this sample was partially explained on the Children's Depression Inventory. Children's depressive symptoms could precede or be a response to school achievement difficulties but whatever the pathway, relatively low achievement scores of children with IUAE are of potential educational importance. "Study finding suggest the children with histories of even low-level IUAE who experience school difficulties should be evaluated particularly for arithmetic skills and depressive symptoms and offered enhanced educational methods/interventions tailored to their needs," she added.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center for Research Resources and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ruth Rose-Jacobs, Marilyn Augustyn, Marjorie Beeghly, Brett Martin, Howard J. Cabral, Timothy C. Heeren, Mark A. Richardson, Deborah A. Frank. Intrauterine substance exposures and Wechsler Individual Achievement Test-II scores at 11 years of age. Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 2012; 1 DOI: 10.1080/17450128.2011.648967

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Intrauterine exposure to drugs does not affect academic achievement test scores, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 March 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132611.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2012, March 5). Intrauterine exposure to drugs does not affect academic achievement test scores, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132611.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Intrauterine exposure to drugs does not affect academic achievement test scores, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120305132611.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins