Cognitive functioning, adaptive behavior, and parenting stress in crack-exposed children from infancy through age six

Mary Anne Yanulis, Fordham University

Abstract

To investigate cognitive functioning, adaptive behavior, and parenting stress in crack-exposed children from infancy through age 6, 66 children and their 46 foster or adoptive parents were evaluated on standardized measures using published norms as points of comparison. Twenty-one children ages 8- through 36-months were evaluated using the Infant Monitoring Questionnaire and significant delays (two standard deviations below the 'at-risk' norm) were found in the Fine Motor, Personal-Social, Adaptive, and Communication Domains, but not in Gross Motor Skills. Thirty-eight children ages 24- through 81-months were evaluated using the Cognitive/Language and Motor Profiles of the AGS Early Screening Profiles. Scores were adjusted for maternal education and significant delays were found on all subscales of the Cognitive/Language Profile and on the Motor Profile. Child's age was positively correlated with Cognitive/Language composite scores, indicating that cognitive performance improved with age. Sixty-six children ages 3- through 81-months were evaluated using the Vineland Scales of Adaptive Behavior. Scores were adjusted for maternal education and significant delays were found on all domains. Socialization Skill scores were the most significantly delayed. Child's age was significantly negatively correlated with the Adaptive Behavior Composite scores, indicating that functioning in adaptive behavior decreased with age. Sixty-five children were evaluated using the Parenting Stress Index, which consists of indices of child-based, parent-based and life stress characteristics. Parents of crack-exposed children reported significantly higher than average stress in parenting overall. They reported higher than average stress due to child-based factors, but lower than normal stress due to parent-based factors. Child-based stress was significantly higher than parent-based stress. No association was found between child-based stress and child's age, indicating equal amounts of stress across the 7 year age span studied. A significantly positive association between parent-based stress and child's age was found, suggesting that stress associated with such features as parental depression, social isolation, and restriction of role increased as the child grew older. Implications for clinical intervention and for further research are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Developmental psychology

Recommended Citation

Yanulis, Mary Anne, "Cognitive functioning, adaptive behavior, and parenting stress in crack-exposed children from infancy through age six" (1994). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9425208.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI9425208

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