Social competence in children at risk due to prenatal cocaine exposure: Continuity over time and associations with cognitive and language abilities

C. Françoise Acra, Katherine E. Bono, Peter Clive Mundy, Keith G. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The continuity of social competence between 36 months and first grade was examined in a sample of children at risk due to prenatal exposure to cocaine (N = 92). Parent report data on social competence were collected at 36 months of age and both parent and teacher report data were collected when children were in first grade. Regression analyses indicated that 36-month social competence significantly predicted first-grade parent ratings of social competence, even after controlling for cognitive ability. Thirty-six month social competence also predicted first-grade teacher ratings of competence, but these relations were mediated by child gender and cognitive ability. Early social competence was also a significant predictor of first-grade language ability, after controlling for 36-month language. These findings emphasize the importance of early social competence for later development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1002-1014
Number of pages13
JournalSocial Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2009



  • At-risk populations
  • Early childhood
  • Longitudinal study
  • Social competence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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