Comparison of intelligence, school readiness skills, and attention in in-utero drug-exposed and nonexposed preschool children

Arlene Manns Butz, Margaret B. Pulsifer, Mary Loretta Leppert, Sheryl Rimrodt, Harolyn M Edith Belcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Children with in-utero drug exposure (IUDE) may be at risk for poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. The objective of this study was to determine the association between IQ, school readiness skills, and self-regulation behavior in IUDE children (n=103) and non IUDE-exposed children (n=33) at age 4 years. Mean IQ or school readiness scores did not significantly differ by IUDE exposure; however, both groups scored approximately 1 standard deviation below the mean for both IQ and school readiness skills. The IUDE group earned a significantly higher mean score (thereby performing poorer) than the nonexposed group on focusing and inattentive behavior. Factors associated with poor school readiness skills for all children (IUDE exposed and nonexposed) were not attending a preschool program and lower caregiver education level. Assuring high-risk children are identified and referred for early intervention services as well as treated for inattention behavior is crucial for their academic success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-739
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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