Vol. 10, No. 4, 2004 Page 4


A recent study confirms that children suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) or a milder syndrome called fetal alcohol effects (FAE) are at high risk for criminal conviction or other serious life problems.

Ann Streissguth et al. evaluated 415 patients with FAS or FAE, and found that for adolescents and adults, the lifespan prevalence for disrupted schooling was 61 percent. The lifespan prevalence for problems with the law was 60 percent, and the prevalence for incarceration or confinement in a psychiatric institution or alcohol/drug unit was 50 percent. Nearly half of the subjects had repeatedly exhibited inappropriate sexual behaviors, and more than one-third had histories of alcohol or drug problems. Early diagnosis and a stable environment reduced these risks, but they still remained high.


"Risk factors for adverse life outcomes in fetal alcohol syndrome and fetal alcohol effects," A. P. Streissguth, F. L. Bookstein, H. M. Barr, P. D. Sampson, K. O'Malley, and J. K. Young, Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, Vol. 25, No. 4, August 2004, 228-38. Addresss: Ann Streissguth, Dept. of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA 98195, astreiss@u.washington.edu.

Related Article: [2005, Vol. 11]

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