Prenatal cocaine exposure and infant cortisol reactivity

Rina D. Eiden, Yvette Veira, Douglas A. Granger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the effects of prenatal cocaine exposure on infant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and reactivity at 7 months of infant age. Participants were 168 caregiver-infant dyads (87 cocaine exposed, 81 not cocaine exposed; 47% boys). Maternal behavior, caregiving instability, and infant growth and behavior were assessed, and children's saliva was sampled before, during, and after standardized procedures designed to elicit emotional arousal. Results revealed cocaine-exposed infants had a high amplitude trajectory of cortisol reactivity compared to non-cocaine-exposed infants. Infant gender and caregiving instability moderated this association. The findings support a dual hazard vulnerability model and have implications for evolutionary-developmental theories of individual differences in biological sensitivity to context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-543
Number of pages16
JournalChild development
Volume80
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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