Maternal substance abuse includes alcohol, illegal drugs, and cigarette smoking during pregnancy. Most research on maternal substance abuse is centered on the amount and type of drug use during pregnancy and the outcomes for infants born from these mothers. The early research on drug exposure and particularly crack/cocaine exposure is murky at best. In the 1990s, the popular press identified these infants as future sociopaths, and this perception became a deep-rooted belief because many research journals only published studies that showed negative effects for infants. Moreover, much of the earliest research was fraught with methodological issues (e.g., only selecting participants with a low socioeconomic status and having no control groups for comparison).

A notable issue that pertains to earlier and current studies of maternal substance abuse ...

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