This is a continuation of grant R01 DA07109, """"""""Developmental Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure,"""""""" an ongoing longitudinal study on the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on children's development. For this continuation, we propose to observe the subjects from 14-17 years. The broad aim is to determine whether prenatal cocaine exposure continues to impact developmental outcome, in particular risky behavior.
Specific aims are: to determine, using our model which controls for effects of neonatal medical risk, environmental risk, and other prenatal substance exposures on outcomes, whether the cocaine effects seen at earlier ages persist, particularly for risky behavior;to investigate whether cocaine exposure affects gonadal hormones and pubertal development;to determine whether increased male vulnerability to cocaine continues to be seen in their risky behavior in adolescence;and to test our model on risky behavior in adolescence, using longitudinal data analytic techniques, such as path modeling, linear growth modeling, and structural equation modeling. Our model focuses particularly on the mediating effects of earlier inhibitory control, attention, and emotional regulation deficits on risky behavior and the moderating role of gender and pubertal development. Adolescents and their mothers will be seen once a year to assess these domains of functioning. Measures will include behavioral observations, bioassays, interviews, questionnaires, standardized tests, and school reports.

Public Health Relevance

Knowing what these teens are like during mid to late adolescence will provide a window into their adult lives. Having data on adolescent functioning will provide a basis for generating interventions during the teen years that could potentially change the entire life course of these children. Given difficulties of inhibitory control and emotional regulation, prenatally cocaine-exposed teens may be especially at risk for adolescent problems that include sexual risk-taking and substance use which potentiate serious health outcomes such as trauma and HIV infection.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Child Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities Study Section (CPDD)
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Borek, Nicolette T
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University of Medicine & Dentistry of NJ
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Bennett, David S; Birnkrant, Jennifer M; Carmody, Dennis P et al. (2015) Effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on pubertal development. Neurotoxicol Teratol 47:146-53
Allen, Jedediah W P; Bennett, David S; Carmody, Dennis P et al. (2014) Adolescent risk-taking as a function of prenatal cocaine exposure and biological sex. Neurotoxicol Teratol 41:65-70
Bennett, David S; Mohamed, Feroze B; Carmody, Dennis P et al. (2013) Prenatal tobacco exposure predicts differential brain function during working memory in early adolescence: a preliminary investigation. Brain Imaging Behav 7:49-59
Bennett, David S; Marini, Victoria A; Berzenski, Sara R et al. (2013) Externalizing problems in late childhood as a function of prenatal cocaine exposure and environmental risk. J Pediatr Psychol 38:296-308
Carmody, Dennis P; Bennett, David S; Lewis, Michael (2011) The effects of prenatal cocaine exposure and gender on inhibitory control and attention. Neurotoxicol Teratol 33:61-8
Bennett, David S; Mohamed, Feroze B; Carmody, Dennis P et al. (2009) Response inhibition among early adolescents prenatally exposed to tobacco: an fMRI study. Neurotoxicol Teratol 31:283-90
Bennett, David S; Bendersky, Margaret; Lewis, Michael (2008) Children's cognitive ability from 4 to 9 years old as a function of prenatal cocaine exposure, environmental risk, and maternal verbal intelligence. Dev Psychol 44:919-28
Bennett, David; Bendersky, Margaret; Lewis, Michael (2007) Preadolescent health risk behavior as a function of prenatal cocaine exposure and gender. J Dev Behav Pediatr 28:467-72
Carmody, Dennis P; Moreno, Rosanne; Mars, Audrey E et al. (2007) Brief report: brain activation to social words in a sedated child with autism. J Autism Dev Disord 37:1381-5
Dennis, Tracy; Bendersky, Margaret; Ramsay, Douglas et al. (2006) Reactivity and regulation in children prenatally exposed to cocaine. Dev Psychol 42:688-97

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