n Child Abuse Research in South Africa - The affect of prenatal methamphetamine (tik) abuse on children's early childhood behaviour : an explorative study in Mitchells Plain

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-1383



This explorative study sought to understand the affect of maternal Methamphetamine abuse on children's early childhood behaviour. Questionnaires and interviews were administered with teachers, a grandmother whose daughter used Methamphetamine during pregnancy and a dentist to determine the impact of maternal Methamphetamine use on children's cognitive development and functioning at school. There are clear indications that maternal Methamphetamine use is a growing problem in the Western Cape. Furthermore, Methamphetamine exposed children might look "perfectly normal at birth", they show certain physical characteristics like small body size, small eye openings, yellowish facial colour and a blank stare in the eye. Personality and cognitive abilities include hyperactivity, an inclination to temper tantrums, poor reasoning skills, limited motivation and delayed physical, academic and social development. The study also revealed unstable family backgrounds with the prevalence of unemployment, substance abuse, crime (theft to feed the habit), single parents and poverty amongst Methamphetamine exposed children. Finally, the study recommends physical and academic interventions for teachers in the class situation to deal with Methamphetamine exposed children.

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