The Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (CIFASD; E. Riley, San Diego State University, Principal Investigator) includes 16 different centers where data collection and analysis take place. The data collection sites and associated investigators described in this paper are: San Diego State University (S.N. Mattson), University of New Mexico and Northern Plains (P.A. May, W. Kalberg), University of California, Los Angeles (E.P. Sowell), Emory University, Atlanta, GA (C.D. Coles, J.A. Kable). Additional sites include the University of Cape Town, South Africa (C.M. Adnams).
Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo
Article first published online: 20 JUL 2012
Copyright © 2012 by the Research Society on Alcoholism
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 37, Issue Supplement s1, pages E338–E346, January 2013
How to Cite
Graham, D. M., Crocker, N., Deweese, B. N., Roesch, S. C., Coles, C. D., Kable, J. A., May, P. A., Kalberg, W. O., Sowell, E. R., Jones, K. L., Riley, E. P., Mattson, S. N. and the CIFASD (2013), Prenatal Alcohol Exposure, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and Sluggish Cognitive Tempo. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 37: E338–E346. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2012.01886.x
- Issue published online: 15 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 20 JUL 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 9 MAY 2012
- Manuscript Received: 25 OCT 2011
- National Institute on Alcohol and Alcohol Abuse. Grant Numbers: U01 AA014834, U24 AA014811, U24 AA014818, U24 AA014815
- Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder;
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome;
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder;
- Sluggish Cognitive Tempo;
- Neurobehavioral Profile
Children with heavy prenatal alcohol exposure often meet criteria for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD research has examined subtype differences in symptomatology, including sluggish cognitive tempo (SCT). This construct is defined by behavioral symptoms including hypoactivity and daydreaming and has been linked to increased internalizing behaviors. The current study examined whether similar findings are displayed in children with prenatal alcohol exposure.
As part of a multisite study, caregivers of 272 children (8 to 16 years) completed the SCT Scale and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Four groups were included: alcohol-exposed children with ADHD (ALC+; n = 75), alcohol-exposed children without ADHD (ALC−; n = 35), nonexposed children with ADHD (ADHD; n = 60), and nonexposed children without ADHD (CON; n = 102). SCT and CBCL scores were analyzed using 2 (exposure) × 2 (ADHD) analyses of variance. Pearson's correlations measured the relationships between SCT, CBCL, and Full Scale IQ (FSIQ). Discriminant function analysis examined whether SCT items could accurately classify groups.
Analyses revealed significant main effects of exposure and ADHD on SCT and internalizing and externalizing scores and significant interaction effects on SCT and internalizing scores. SCT significantly correlated with internalizing, externalizing, and attention ratings in all groups and with FSIQ in ALC+. Discriminant function analysis indicated that specific SCT items could distinguish ALC− from CON.
Alcohol-exposed children exhibited elevated SCT scores. Elevations were related to increased parent ratings of internalizing and externalizing behaviors and attention. These findings are observed in alcohol-exposed children regardless of ADHD symptoms and specific SCT items proved useful in distinguishing exposed children, suggesting clinical utility for this measure in further defining the neurobehavioral profile related to prenatal alcohol exposure.