This application extends a previously funded investigation among low-income, urban African American children through longitudinal follow-up into adolescence. The Experimental Group (High or Low Exposure) was prenatally exposed to cocaine, documented by toxicology tests at delivery. A comparison group was comprised of an unexposed matched sample of children from the same community. This translational application has two phases. The first phase examines how prenatal substance exposure is related to proximal brain functioning during adolescence, assessed through neuropsychological measures of attention, memory, and executive functioning; the neural correlates of working memory and response to risk and reward evaluation measured by fMRI; and diurnal rhythms of salivary cortisol. Because prenatal substance exposure often occurs in the context of environmental challenges (poverty, ongoing drug use, and disruptions in care), the application will examine whether the effects of prenatal substance exposure are moderated by environmental factors. In the second phase, the application will examine how prenatal substance exposure is related to adolescents' distal functioning via academic performance, socio-emotional development, and early drug use (marijuana). Response to acute challenges, measured by salivary cortisol, will be used to understand the adolescents' ability to adapt to environmental pressures and ultimately their resilience or vulnerability to early drug use. The application will examine whether the relationship from prenatal substance exposure to distal behavior is direct or mediated through proximal brain functioning. With developmental-ecological theory as a guide, a multi-method, multi-informant strategy is used, incorporating reports from adolescents, caregivers, and teachers; standardized measures of neuropsychological, academic, and socio-emotional performance; brain imaging; and biomarkers of the stress response (salivary cortisol) and drug use (hair and urine). This application examines academic performance, socio-emotional functioning, and drug use among adolescents exposed to cocaine and/or heroin prenatally.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZDA1)
Program Officer
Borek, Nicolette T
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University of Maryland Baltimore
Schools of Medicine
United States
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Armstrong, B; Buckingham-Howes, S; Black, M M (2018) Cortisol reactivity and weight gain among adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure. Pediatr Obes 13:786-793
Geng, Fengji; Salmeron, Betty Jo; Ross, Thomas J et al. (2018) Long-term effects of prenatal drug exposure on the neural correlates of memory at encoding and retrieval. Neurotoxicol Teratol 65:70-77
Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Mazza, Dayna; Wang, Yan et al. (2016) Prenatal Drug Exposure and Adolescent Cortisol Reactivity: Association with Behavioral Concerns. J Dev Behav Pediatr 37:565-72
Schweitzer, Julie B; Riggins, Tracy; Liang, Xia et al. (2015) Prenatal drug exposure to illicit drugs alters working memory-related brain activity and underlying network properties in adolescence. Neurotoxicol Teratol 48:69-77
Schweitzer, Julie B; Riggins, Tracy; Ross, Thomas J et al. (2015) Interpretation of prenatal drug exposure functional imaging data. Neurotoxicol Teratol 52:58-9
Black, Maureen M; Nair, Prasanna; Spanier, Adam J (2014) Dose and timing of prenatal tobacco exposure: threats to early child development. Lancet Respir Med 2:677-9
Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Bento, Samantha P; Scaletti, Laura A et al. (2014) Prenatal drug exposure moderates the association between stress reactivity and cognitive function in adolescence. Dev Neurosci 36:329-37
Wang, Yan; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Nair, Prasanna et al. (2014) Prenatal drug exposure, behavioral problems, and drug experimentation among African-American urban adolescents. J Adolesc Health 55:423-31
Robey, Alison; Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Salmeron, Betty Jo et al. (2014) Relations among prospective memory, cognitive abilities, and brain structure in adolescents who vary in prenatal drug exposure. J Exp Child Psychol 127:144-62
Buckingham-Howes, Stacy; Berger, Sarah Shafer; Scaletti, Laura A et al. (2013) Systematic review of prenatal cocaine exposure and adolescent development. Pediatrics 131:e1917-36

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