261872 Prenatal cocaine exposure and criminal offending by early adulthood

Monday, October 29, 2012

Denise C. Vidot, MA, PhD Student , Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Veronica H. Accornero, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Alexis Bitting, BS , Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Lihua Xue, MS , Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Emmalee S. Bandstra, MD , Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Background: Although prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) has been linked to disruptive behavior in childhood, little is known about the long-term effects of PCE on delinquency and criminal offending through adolescence. This study examined the relationship between PCE, sex/gender, and official arrest history (AH) in early adulthood.

Methods: The sample (PCE=186, non-cocaine exposed [NCE]=179) was drawn from the Miami Prenatal Cocaine Study cohort and restricted to youth who completed at least one exam at 16/17 or 18/19 years and were residents of Florida at time of exam. Official arrest records were obtained at age 19-21 via County databases in Florida, cross-checked with adolescent and caregiver report. Chi-square analysis and logistic regression assessed relationships between PCE/NCE and AH.

Results: PCE young adults were more likely to have an AH than their NCE counterparts (x=4.8; p<0.03). The association between PCE and AH remained significant controlling for age, sex/gender, other prenatal drug exposures, and caregiver relationship and legal history (OR=2.1; p<0.01). In subgroup analyses, PCE males were significantly more likely than NCE males to have AH (OR=2.2; p<0.03); no PCE/NCE differences in AH were found among females (OR=1.9; p=0.14).

Conclusions: In utero cocaine exposure was related to criminal offending by early adulthood. Future research will explore possible mediators and moderators (e.g., early behavior problems, exposure to violence).

Acknowledgements: P50DA024584; P50DA024584-05S2; R01DA006556

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Explain the relationship between prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE)and early adult criminal offending (AH); 2) Discuss the sex/gender differences between PCE and early adult criminal offending ; 3) Identify potential covariates in the association between PCE and AH

Keywords: Drugs, Adolescents

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I performed and initiated the analysis and have been part of data collection and quality assurance. Further, I have a background in working with delinquent youth.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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