'Crack Babies' Not Such a Big Worry After All
Factors other than cocaine may have fueled 1980s fears
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted May 27, 2013 8:15 AM CDT
It's not so clear that cocaine use during pregnancy has long-term effects on kids, scientists find.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – All that time spent worrying about "crack babies" in the 1980s may have been for naught: Researchers reviewed 27 previous studies involving some 5,000 teens whose mothers had been cocaine users during pregnancy and found little proof of any major long-term ill effects. Though the kids (all from low-income families, and mostly from black urban backgrounds) were sometimes found to suffer from issues related to behavior, attention, or anxiety, other factors may have been to blame for those issues—like family violence, continuing family drug use, and financial struggles, the AP reports.

These teens were sometimes found to score lower than their peers on developmental tests, but the scores weren't outside the normal range. The review is just the latest research to question earlier findings on so-called "crack babies." Recent studies have suggested premature births may have fueled some of the symptoms (like jitteriness) these babies displayed; once tracked beyond infancy, no severe problems have been uncovered in such children. "The field of prenatal cocaine exposure has advanced significantly since the misleading 'crack baby' scare of the 1980s," say the researchers.

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Showing 3 of 44 comments
right2dave
May 28, 2013 1:33 PM CDT
Cool! SO there you have it gals. If you get pregnant you don't have to put down the crack pipe.
BCS
May 28, 2013 12:16 AM CDT
"They were sometimes found to suffer from issues related to behavior, attention, or anxiety" "These teens were sometimes found to score lower than their peers on developmental tests" That's all? They just have behavior, attention, and anxiety issues, and they're dumber than other kids? Well in that case, it's time we all hit the pipe!
InferiorToYou
May 27, 2013 5:45 PM CDT
Babies in general are not all they are cracked up to be.