Cognitive Development of Substance-Exposed Children Involved with an Early Intervention Program
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Although there is a vast literature on the developmental challenges among children with prenatal substance exposure, the evidence is limited in terms of understanding their developments in the context of an intervention. The current study aimed to examine the cognitive development of substance-exposed infants and young children in the context of an innovative early intervention and to explore the associations between the quality of the mother-child relationship, children’s temperament characteristics and their links to an aspect of cognitive development – intellectual functioning. The results indicated that children’s reactivity to physical environments as rated by their mothers was a significant predictor of verbal domain of intellectual functioning while children’s persistence on a goal was a significant predictor of non-verbal domain. These associations were also linked to the observational scores of children’s behaviors during dyadic interactions with their mothers. The importance of these findings as well as their implications and limitations were discussed.