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The impact of maternal prenatal methamphetamine exposure on child behavioural development: A systematic review

Kunkler, Chelsea (2019) The impact of maternal prenatal methamphetamine exposure on child behavioural development: A systematic review. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Methamphetamine (MA) use during pregnancy is associated with a range of adverse neurodevelopmental implications for a developing fetus. This systematic review examines studies which report the effects of prenatal MA exposure in utero on infant and child behavioural development. A systematic search of PSYCINFO, Scopus, PubMed and ERIC databases was conducted and 839 records were identified. A total of 15 articles met inclusion criteria, examining behavioural outcomes in children from birth to nine years of age. This review found consistent reports of behavioural dysregulation in neonates and children prenatally exposed to MA. Furthermore, the results indicate that children with prenatal MA exposure display more pronounced behavioural difficulties as they age. However, the small number of longitudinal studies and the narrow breadth of populations sampled limits the interpretation and generalisability of these findings. Future research should consider these limitations and conduct longitudinal studies, with a broader range of population samples, to determine the temporal association between prenatal MA exposure and behavioural outcomes. These findings have implications for early identification and prevention of later behavioural dysfunction as a result of prenatal MA exposure. It is crucial to prevent maternal MA use during pregnancy and to provide postnatal service care for parents of children with prenatal MA exposure; so they have to ability to support and promote a more adaptive developmental trajectory for their child.

Keywords: methamphetamine, prenatal drug exposure, fetal behaviour, child behaviour

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Supervisor(s): Lewis, Andrew and Almeida, Renita
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