Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit have developed a new questionnaire to assess problem drinking in pregnant women; something that can cause behavioural problems in children. They tried out the questionnaire on a sample of 75 African American women and their four-to-five-year old children. The mothers answered questions about how much, and how often, they had drunk alcohol around the time of their conception and pregnancy and the children took tests to assess their IQ, attention, memory, visual-motor function, motor skills and behaviour. The questionnaire identified 62% of the mothers as drinking at problem levels - 23% more than other measures of problem drinking. The test was also better at prediciting poor child cognition and behaviour problems than other methods of assessing maternal problem drinking.
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