Arousal modulation in cocaine-exposed infants.

M. Bendersky, M. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


The ability to modulate arousal is a critical skill with wide-ranging implications for development. In this study, the authors examined arousal regulation as a function of levels of prenatal cocaine exposure in 107 infants at 4 months of age using a "still-face" procedure. Facial expressions were coded. A greater percentage of heavily cocaine-exposed infants, compared with those who were unexposed to cocaine, showed less enjoyment during en face play with their mothers and continued to show negative expressions during the resumption of play following a period when the interaction was interrupted. This finding was independent of other substance exposure, neonatal medical condition, environmental risk, maternal contingent responsivity, and concurrent maternal sensitivity and vocalizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-564
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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