Prenatal cocaine exposure and motor performance at 4 months

Rosemarie Bigsby, L. Linda, La Gasse, Barry Lester, Seetha Shankaran, Henrietta Bada, Charles Bauer, Jing Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The relation between prenatal cocaine exposure and quality of movement was studied at 4 mo using the Posture and Fine Motor Assessment of Infants (PFMAI-I). METHOD. Posture and fine motor scores of 4-month-old infants exposed to cocaine in utero (n 5 370) were compared with an unexposed group (n 5 533) within the context of gestational age, medical and demographic characteristics, and level of prenatal substance exposure using the PFMAI-I. RESULTS. Infants prenatally exposed to cocaine had significantly lower posture scores than infants in the unexposed group. There was no main effect of cocaine exposure on fine motor scores; however, there were independent effects of gestational age at birth on both posture and fine motor scores at 4-mo corrected age. CONCLUSION. These findings demonstrate independent contributions of prenatal cocaine exposure and prematurity to risk of motor delay and support the validity of the PFMAI-I as a measure of motor competence in early infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e60-e68
JournalAmerican Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Child development
  • Cocaine-related disorders
  • Motor skills
  • Posture
  • Prenatal exposure delayed effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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