Does prenatal cocaine exposure predict adolescent substance use?

David S. Bennett, Michael Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) has rarely been examined as a predictor of substance use during late adolescence, and few studies have examined both the initiation of substance use and current substance use as outcomes. The present longitudinal study examined PCE, other prenatal exposures, and psychosocial risk factors for their association with substance use in mid to late adolescence. Adolescents (n = 150) followed since birth reported on their use of alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis every 6 months from age 15.0 to 17.5 using a computer-assisted self-administration version of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey. PCE did not predict substance use in a series of growth curve analyses. Several psychosocial risk factors were associated with adolescents' substance use. Having friends who use substances predicted past month cigarette and cannabis use as well as initiation of alcohol and cannabis use, while depressive symptoms predicted initiation of alcohol, cigarette, and cannabis use. The current findings suggest that more proximal psychosocial factors may play a greater role in adolescent substance use than prenatal substance exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106906
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Adolescence
  • Parental influence
  • Peer influence
  • Prenatal cocaine exposure
  • Psychosocial risk
  • Substance use


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