IQ at age 4 in relation to maternal alcohol use and smoking during pregnancy

Ann P. Streissguth, Helen M. Barr, Paul D. Sampson, Betty L. Darby, et al
1989 Developmental Psychology  
Examined the relationship of prenatal alcohol exposure to the IQ of children at age 4 in a longitudinal prospective, population-based study. Multiple-regression analyses on data from 421 children indicated that use of more than 1.5 oz (44 ml, or approximately 3 drinks) of alcohol per day during pregnancy was significantly related to an average IQ decrement of almost 5 IQ points (Yt of a standard deviation; p = .008), even after adjustment for maternal and paternal education, race, prenatal
more » ... tion, aspirin and antibiotics, child's sex and birth order, mother-child interaction, and preschool attendance. We caution against using these data to describe "safe" drinking levels, because other outcomes, more sensitive than IQ tests, show significant alcohol effects at lower drinking levels. In this study, we examine the early childhood consequences of prenatal exposure to alcohol and tobacco. Theoretically, this kind of research is conceptualized as human behavioral teratology. Teratogens are substances capable of producing death, malformations, growth deficiency, or behavioral aberrations as a result of prenatal exposure (Wilson, 1977a) , and a behavioral teratogen is a substance that produces behavioral deviations as a result of prenatal exposure (
doi:10.1037/0012-1649.25.1.3 fatcat:2vehth7rgfeulktdtyrhcmzf6q