Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Lisa Lindley

Committee Members

Joel Anderson, Sharon Davis, Paul Erwin


Every 25 minutes in the United States, a newborn is born experiencing neonatal abstinence syndrome. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a withdrawal syndrome cause by exposure to medications or drugs in utero that leads to symptoms of withdrawal leading to extensive, high cost hospital stays. Little is known about the neurodevelopmental effects of neonatal abstinence syndrome beyond the age of five. The purpose of this study was to 1) describe the neurodevelopmental health of children with NAS at 10 years of age, 2) examine the relationship between NAS and neurodevelopment (i.e. abnormal behavioral, cognitive, and motor development) at the ages of 1, 5, and 10 years, and 3) examine the longitudinal effect of NAS on neurodevelopment (i.e., learning disorders and language delays) from birth to 10 years. This work extended that knowledge by analyzing data on children who presented, during the newborn period, with the clinical signs and symptoms of NAS to examine the effect of NAS on neurodevelopmental outcomes through the age of ten. This work identified that at the age of ten (n=234) children with a history of NAS experienced learning disorders, language delays, abnormal behavioral development, and abnormal cognitive development. At the age of ten (N=727), NAS significantly predicted abnormal behavioral development in children with a history of NAS (pp

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."