Essay Example on Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Childhood Behavior at Age 6 to 7









Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Childhood Behavior at Age 6 to 7 Years I Dose Response Effect Detroit MI Research Question The research question for this experiment was to discover the lasting effects alcohol had on the children during pregnancy Prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with an alteration of child behavior The purpose was to observe the effects based on the dosage and exposure Specifically the researchers wanted to examine the behaviors of children when they reached they ages six to seven years Background The study started in 1986 in Detroit researchers compared the dosage exposure from no prenatal alcohol exposure to any amounts to observe the development of the children The scale used was no use low moderate and heavy based per day The data does show that there is a correlation with high dosage alcohol exposure and delinquency 

The higher the score the more behavioral problems the children possessed there were some reported cases of fetal alcohol syndrome Data was only collected from black women as there was inadequate representation of other racial groups Sood 2001 People that were excluded from this study were the children who missed testing appointments or major congenital malformations This would have put gaps in the data missing pieces that would become irrelevant to the study Sample and Population For this study there were 665 contracted families and 94 agreed to testing Over 90 of women who sought prenatal care at this site were black This would throw off the results and give inadequate representation of other racial groups Potential participants of this child outcome study were the singleton children born to these women who had been screened extensively during pregnancy by research staff for alcohol tobacco cocaine and other drug use and who delivered between September 1 1989 and August 31 1991 Sood 2001 Researchers excluded children who had missed multiple appointments 6 had major congenital malformations other than fetal alcohol syndrome possessed an IQ of 2 standard deviations from the sample mean and or had incomplete data Sood 2001 By the end of the study there were only 506 parent child dyads constituted the sample for this study Key Variables There were independent dependent and controlled variables in this group study The independent variable represented the prenatal alcohol exposure It was then measured out by the average absolute alcohol per day and parents were expected to be interviewed every two weeks The dependent variable was the CBCL This is commonly used clinical assessment used to assess the child's behavior The test is applicable to children ages 4 to 16 years is used widely in the clinical assessment of children's behavior problems and has been used extensively in research The test is designed at a fifth grade level and takes approximately about 15 to 20 minutes to complete It is consisted of 118 specific problem behaviors scored on a 3 category scale Sood 2001 

The controlled variables of the study were the perinatal factors of the mothers age education cigarette cocaine and other substances of abuse and the gestational age of the infant There were postnatal factors that were included to study maternal psychopathology family structure alcohol and drug use and exposure to violence All of these factors have a large influence on the child's behavior Research Findings About one fourth of the women denied alcohol use during their pregnancy 26 of women claimed to alcohol use in low amounts and 48 5 of women reported moderate to heavy use The researchers noticed the unequal variety of the women's races for an accurate study so this study specifically studied African American women They found that children who had any prenatal exposure to alcohol were 3 2 times as likely to have delinquent behavior scores in the clinical range compared to non exposed children Still today pregnant women are told there is not a safe amount of alcohol to drink during the pregnancy Strengths and Limitations One of the strengths of this study is that it was followed up with throughout the years and kept the data well organized It was intended to expand on research of the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure and child behavior A second strength would be how the other substances into controlled variables benefited their study This allowed less room for error as other substances can affect a child's development and behavior The main limitation of this study would be that it was primarily focused on only African American women To make this study even more in depth an accurate representation of all the races would help get an overall better rounded out study The researchers started off with this intention but lacking the amount of diversity in the area was their main problem This causes limitation because it only targets how prenatal alcohol exposure effects one ethic group

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