The role of mother's prenatal substance use disorder and early parenting on child social cognition at school age

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Abstract

This prospective longitudinal study examined how maternal prenatal substance use disorder (SUD) and early mother–infant interaction quality are associated with child social cognition (emotion recognition and mentalization) at school age. A sample of 52 poly-substance-using mothers receiving early interventions and 50 non-users, along with their children, was followed from pregnancy to school age. First-year mother–infant interaction quality was measured with EA scales. At school age, child facial emotion recognition was measured with DANVA and mentalization with LEAS-C. SUD group children did not differ from comparison children in social cognition, but higher severity of maternal prenatal addiction predicted emotion recognition problems. High early mother–infant interaction quality predicted better emotion recognition and mentalization, and mother–infant interaction quality mediated the effect of prenatal SUD on emotion recognition. The results highlight the need for early treatments targeting both parenting and addiction, as well as long-term developmental support for these children. Highlights: We examined how mother's prenatal substance use disorder (SUD) and early mother–infant interaction predict child social cognition at school age. Questionnaires, observational and computer tasks were used. Maternal prenatal addiction severity and early parenting problems predicted problematic child social cognition. Early interventions should simultaneously target addiction and parenting. Attention should also be paid to the long-term developmental support of children.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2221
JournalInfant and Child Development
Volume30
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • emotion recognition
  • mentalization
  • mother–infant interaction
  • school age
  • social cognition
  • substance use disorder

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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