Investigation on the Effects on Language Development of Prenatal Exposure to Drugs

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Statistics show that an estimated 5.9 percent of women use drugs, 15.9 percent smoke cigarettes, and 8.5 percent drink alcohol at least once during pregnancy, according to a study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2013). If drug and alcohol use by a pregnant woman continues and goes unnoticed by family members or doctors, the mental and physical development of their child has the potential to be extremely severe (Brady, Posner, Lang, Rosati, 1994). In this current paper, the effects of prenatal exposure to illicit drugs, non-illicit drugs, and alcohol on language development are investigated. The illicit drugs that will be investigated include marijuana, MDMA, and cocaine. Non-illicit drugs…show more content…
These questions were asked to see if any other variables have an influence on the language development of the children, much like in the previous cocaine study. After controlling for any potential confounding variables, the researchers conducted an analysis of the children, each of which was placed into a group according to the amount of marijuana and nicotine which they were exposed to. The overall results of the study showed that children between the ages of 9 to 12 who were exposed to one or more cigarettes a day while in the womb scored significantly lower on the tests that measured both language and reading than children who were not exposed to any cigarettes (Fried, Watkinson, & Siegel, 1997). However, this was not the case for children who were only exposed to second hand cigarette smoke prenatally. In addition to this, children whose mothers were light (one to six joints a week) or heavy (more than six joints a week) users of marijuana while pregnant showed very little difference in test scores than children were not exposed to marijuana at all prenatally. These results provide some evidence that cigarette smoke exposure during pregnancy negatively effects language development, while marijuana exposure has

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