Developmental Outcome Of Children Of Methadone Dependent Women (drugs, Narcotics)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Since the development of methadone programs in 1970, it is estimated that approximately 65% of narcotic addicted women have enrolled in methadone maintenance treatment programs. Of the total number of admissions to regional methadone clinics in 1977, approximately 67% of the women were in their peak child bearing years, between the ages of 18 and 30. In 1974, 1 of 30 infants was born addicted. The development of these children born to and/or living with methadone dependent women is of interest in as much as this group of children is clearly at greater risk for developmental difficulties than a comparable group of children not born of nor living with narcotic dependent women. The purpose of this investigation was first to provide a detailed report on research concerning children living in an environment in which drugs are used. In addition, this study evaluated twenty children of comparable background but whose mothers were not drug involved. All of the children were evaluated using the Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale, the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, the Roberts Apperception Test for Children, and the Achenbach Children's Checklist. No significant differences were found on the Stanford or on the Kaufman. However, a small subsample of children born addicted scored significantly lower on the Stanford Binet than those not born addicted. On the Roberts, children of methadone dependent parents were found to report more themes of anxiety, aggression, and rejection than the comparison group. On the behavior checklist, mothers of children in the methadone group reported more problem behaviors among their children than did mothers in the comparison group. Behaviors reported on the checklist by the mothers seem to be congruent with the themes of the stories told by the children on the Roberts. Thus, the results show appropriate intellectual development but suggest difficulties in the emotional/behavioral domain. Further, this study provides more support for the great need of services for this group of children and extends the data base to include children of methadone dependent women in an older age range.


Psychology, Developmental

Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text