Impaired language performance in young children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure

Christie L. McGee, Olivia A. Bjorkquist, Edward P. Riley, Sarah N. Mattson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aims of this study were to evaluate the language abilities of young children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure and to determine if these abilities represent a relative strength or weakness for this population. Two matched groups of children (ages 3 to 5) completed the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals, Preschool version: 25 children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure (ALC) and 26 non-exposed controls (CON). Consistent with previous research, the CON group had significantly higher full scale IQ (FSIQ) scores than the ALC group. Receptive and expressive language skills of the two groups were compared. The ALC group had significantly poorer language skills than the CON group and both groups had better receptive than expressive abilities. Language performance did not significantly deviate from what would be predicted by FSIQ for either group. These results indicate that receptive and expressive language abilities are impaired in children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure but not more so than general intellectual functioning. However, these deficits are likely to impact the social interactions and behavioral adjustment of children with prenatal alcohol exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009

Keywords

  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • IQ
  • Language
  • Prenatal alcohol exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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