The Effects of Prenatal Drug Exposure on Children of Minority Families and Their Overall Adjustment

ABSTRACT The Effects of Prenatal Drug Exposure on Children of Minority Families and Their Overall Adjustment By Karen Gudiño The purpose of this research is to examine the factors contributing to the overall adjustment of children of minority families who have been prenatally exposed to drugs. The objectives of this analysis are to understand what areas of a child’s life are affected when exposed to harmful substance during the fetal growth, along with how they adjust to those factors from birth and through their adult life. This study discusses micro, mezzo, and macro level interventions that can be implemented. Preventative approaches to decrease further exposure to this social issue are also present. This study includes a qualitative content analysis with comprehensive literature review of scholarly peer reviewed articles. The dependent variable present in this research is the overall adjustment that a child experiences because of the maternal drug abuse. Socioeconomic status was a common factor in people with this lifestyle, behavior problems, school difficulties, risk of child maltreatment, and physical health concerns were prevalent. The analysis also reveals that unhealthy attachments with their mother, lack of paternal involvement, and mother’s mental health history as contributors. Maternal drug addiction continues to interfere with the overall adjustment of children into society and through their adult life. Additional research is needed to better understand drug addiction amongst expectant mothers and the physical effects it has on the child.

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