Methodology: Risky Substance Exposure during Pregnancy

Study design

The study was done using previously use data and information. Data from previously performed research was closely analyzed and taken to consideration. The data that was of most concern was that of the effect of the various substances to pregnant women. The time frame within which the data was obtained from the date of delivery was also obtained to determine if the substances were more impactful during certain times of pregnancy (Bailey, & Sokol, 2011; Barnes, Ismail & Crome, 2010; Tenkku, Morris, Salas & Xaverius, 2009).

The data so obtained was used to determine the hypothesis of two data forms. First the research sought to determine if the impact of substance use was more impactful in the more advanced stages of the pregnancy (Tenkku, Morris, Salas & Xaverius, 2009; Parrish et al., 2012)

H1: the influence of harmful substances increased with the timeline of the pregnancy and substances were more disastrous when used in the more advanced stages of the pregnancy

Second, the research sought to relate the impact of substance use on baby health. This information could be calculated by determining the frequency of hospital visits after child birth (Warren, Hewitt & Thomas, 2010).

H2:  Children of substance users showed a higher frequency of hospital visits in the early ages after birth.


Since the data was obtained from various studies, the participants used were those from various studies. The criteria that was used to obtain the information was the fact that they were pregnant and were willing to divulge their substance use information or had done so in previous research (Rachidi et al 2013). The various research papers used provided for a variety of data which meant that the data was adequately distributed and the information obtained could be reliable (Konijnenberg & Melinder, 2011; Meschke, Holl & Messelt, 2013).

The use of previous data gave more reliable data due to its diversity. It also served to increase the number of participants enormously and, again, increasing the accuracy of the data obtained.

Study variables and measures

The variables of this study were the stage of pregnancy, the frequency of hospital visits, substances used and the level of impact on the unborn child (Santiago, Park & Huffman, 2013; Bailey & Sokol, 2011).


Bailey, B. A., & Sokol, R. J. (2011). Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Preterm Delivery, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Alcohol Research & Health, 34(1), 86-91.

Barnes, W., Ismail, K. K., & Crome, I. B. (2010). Triply troubled: Criminal behaviour and mental health in a cohort of teenage pregnant substance misusers in treatment. Criminal Behaviour & Mental Health, 20(5), 335-348. doi:10.1002/cbm.776

Konijnenberg, C., & Melinder, A. (2011). Prenatal exposure to methadone and buprenorphine: A review of the potential effects on cognitive development. Child Neuropsychology, 17(5), 495-519. doi:10.1080/09297049.2011.553591

Lindblad, F., & Hjern, A. (2010). ADHD after fetal exposure to maternal smoking. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 12(4), 408-415. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntq017

Meschke, L., Holl, J., & Messelt, S. (2013). Older Not Wiser: Risk of Prenatal Alcohol Use by Maternal Age. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 17(1), 147-155. doi:10.1007/s10995-012-0953-7

Parrish, D., Sternberg, K., Velasquez, M., Cochran, J., Sampson, M., & Mullen, P. (2012). Characteristics and Factors Associated with the Risk of a Nicotine Exposed Pregnancy: Expanding the CHOICES Preconception Counseling Model to Tobacco. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 16(6), 1224-1231. doi:10.1007/s10995-011-0848-z

Rachidi, S., Awada, S., Al-Hajje, A., Bawab, W., Zein, S., Saleh, N., & Salameh, P. (2013). Risky substance exposure during pregnancy: a pilot study from Lebanese mothers. Drug, Healthcare And Patient Safety, (default), 123.

Santiago, S. E., Park, G. H., & Huffman, K. J. (2013). Consumption habits of pregnant women and implications for developmental biology: a survey of predominantly Hispanic women in California. Nutrition Journal, 12(1), 1-14. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-91

Tenkku, L., Morris, D., Salas, J., & Xaverius, P. (2009). Racial Disparities in Pregnancy-Related Drinking Reduction. Maternal & Child Health Journal, 13(5), 604-613. doi:10.1007/s10995-008-0409-2

Warren, K. R., Hewitt, B. G., & Thomas, J. D. (2011). Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Research Challenges and Opportunities. Alcohol Research & Health, 34(1), 4-14.

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