The effects of prenatal cocaine use on quality of maternal-infant interactions were evaluated using the Nursing Child Assessment Feeding Scale (NCAFS). A total of 341 (155 cocaine using; 186 non-cocaine using) low socioeconomic, primarily African-American dyads were evaluated longitudinally at birth, 6.5, and 12 months. Group differences over time were examined, controlling for covariates, using a mixed-model linear approach. Women who used cocaine during pregnancy were less sensitive to their infants than non-cocaine-using women at 6.5 and 12 months. At 6.5 months, heavier prenatal cocaine users were less responsive to their infants than lighter users. In infants, prenatal cocaine exposure was related to poorer clarity of cues. There were no significant cocaine effects on maternal social-emotional growth fostering, cognitive growth fostering, or infant responsiveness to mother. Controlling for covariates, concentration of cocaine metabolites predicted maternal sensitivity to infant cues and infant clarity of cues at 1 year. Maternal cocaine use during pregnancy and other pre- and postnatal factors adversely affect maternal-infant interactions during the first year of life.
1Department of General Medical Sciences, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland
2Departments of General Medical Sciences and Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland
3Department of Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio
4Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio
Received May 2003; accepted January 2005.
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