Evaluating a Research Study on Prenatal Cocaine Exposure: Potential Dangers or Not

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This evaluation addresses a recent research study, conducted by Arendt & Farkas et al, titled the "Cognitive Outcomes of Preschool Children with Prenatal Cocaine Exposure." This research study was published in 2004, and its stated goal was an attempt to clarify and to reconcile conflicting data regarding the effects of fetal brain exposure to cocaine on subsequent cognitive development.


2448). The study was conducted by doctors at an urban teaching hospital. The research subjects included three hundred and seventy-six pre-school children. Of these children, one hundred and ninety experienced fetal brain exposure to cocaine. One hundred and eight-six did not experience such exposure. The main testing standards were related to intellectual quotient measurements; more specifically, the study employed the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scales of Intelligence-Revised measurements for determinations of outcomes. This is a standard measurement authority and there is little debate about its use and efficacy. The findings were rather interesting.
As an initial matter, this study was pursued because of inconsistent results regarding the longer-term consequences of prenatal cocaine exposure. In the media, it is common to hear about definitive correlations and relationships; for purposes of academic evaluation, however, the correlations have proven less definitive empirically. The findings in this case, dealing only with the effects noticed in a child's initial four-year lifespan, were seemingly mild in certain ways. ...
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