Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology

Academic Discipline

Clinical Psychology - Florida School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Elizabeth Lane, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathie Bates, PhD


The opioid epidemic over the past two decades has raised concerns regarding the developmental fetal impact of prenatal opioid use. Research in this area continues to grow, but largely has focused on treatment for neonates experiencing withdrawal symptoms postnatally. Long term clinical implications for this at-risk population have not been studied extensively leaving many gaps in research and highlighting the need for future empirical studies. This literature review will examine the neurophysiological, neuropsychological, and the behavioral/social/emotional impacts on infants, toddlers, and school aged children who were prenatally exposed to opioids with or without the diagnosis of neonatal abstinence syndrome. Providing a deeper understanding of the possible short- and long-term impacts of these children will better inform physicians, clinicians, teachers, and caregivers on the importance of implementing early interventions with children in this at-risk population.