Cocaine-Exposed Infant Behavior During Still-Face: Risk Factor Analyses

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Abstract

Prenatal cocaine exposure and the role of gender were evaluated using risk factor analyses to determine whether 6-month-old cocaine-exposed male infants demonstrated greater disruptions in infant-caregiver socioemotional interactions during a Still-Face test. Overall, non-cocaine-exposed infants spent more time looking at toys, compared with cocaine-exposed infants; nonexposed female infants spent more time scanning the environment, compared with nonexposed male infants. When caregiver behavior during the Still-Face was evaluated, differences emerged in amount of time the caregiver spent vocalizing to the infant. She vocalized more to a cocaine-exposed infant compared with a nonexposed one; she reduced vocalizing more during the test if the cocaine-exposed infant was female. An exposure by gender interaction emerged in the amount of change in caregiver vocalizations; however, the overarching hypothesis that male cocaine-exposed infants are at higher risk than nonexposed male, nonexposed female, and cocaine-exposed female infants was not supported. Because this interaction was evident in this cohort at 24 months, future research is needed to determine at what age an interaction begins to emerge in this cohort.

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