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Prenatal Drug Exposure & Adolescent Drug Use: The Role of HPA Axis Regulation

About Us

Through the postdoctoral training grant F32 DA036274-01 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, we will investigate the impact of stress regulation on adolescent drug use among adolescents who were prenatally exposed to drugs and a comparison sample of adolescents not prenatally exposed. The ability to regulate stress influences several aspects of child development (e.g., brain, health, psychological well-being). Little is known about the impact of prenatal drug exposure on the regulation of stress and the development of drug use in adolescence.

This study integrates biological, developmental, psychological, and social aspects of child development to investigate how prenatal drug exposure is related to adolescent drug use directly and indirectly through stress regulation. This research has the potential to inform public health policy because prenatal drug exposure and stress regulation have been associated with multiple negative health outcomes individually, and assessing them in one model has the potential to inform risk prevention and promotion research.

Project Coordinator


Maureen M. Black, PhD 
Principal Investigator
University of Maryland, School of Medicine 



Ambika Krishnakumar, PhD
Syracuse University

Margaret Bentley, PhD
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 


Buckingham-Howes, S., Oberlander, S. E., Hurley, K. M., Fitzmaurice, S., & Black, M. M. (2011). Trajectories of Adolescent Mother-Grandmother Psychological Conflict during Early Parenting and Children’s Problem Behaviors at Age 7. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 40, 445-455.

Oberlander, S. E., Agostini, W. R. M., Houston, A. M., & Black, M. M. (2010). A seven-year investigation of marital expectations and marriage among urban, low-income, African American adolescent mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 31-40.

Ramos-Marcuse, F., Oberlander, S. E., Papas, M. A., McNary, S. W., Hurley, K. M., & Black, M. M. (2010). Stability of maternal depressive symptoms among urban, low-income African American adolescent mothers. Journal of Affective Disorders, 122, 68-75.

More Publications+

Papas, M. A., Hurley, K. M., Quigg, A. M., Oberlander, S. E., & Black, M. M. (2009). Low-income African American adolescent mothers and their toddlers exhibit similar dietary consumption patterns. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 41, 87-94.

Hurley, K. M., Oberlander, S. E., Merry, B. C., Wrobleski, M. M., Klassen, A. C., & Black, M. M. (2009). The Healthy Eating Index and the Youth Healthy Eating Index are unique, non-redundant measures of diet quality among low-income, African American adolescents. The Journal of Nutrition, 139, 359-364.

Oberlander, S. E., Shebl, F. M., Magder, L. S., & Black, M. M. (2009). Adolescent mothers leaving multigenerational households. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 38, 62-74.

Oberlander, S. E., Black, M. M., & Starr, R. H., Jr. (2007). Mothers and grandmothers: An intergenerational approach to adolescent parenthood. American Journal of Community Psychology, 39, 37-46.

Black, M. M., Bentley, M. E., Papas, M. A., Oberlander, S., Teti, L. O., McNary, S., Le, K., & O'Connell, M. (2006). Delaying second births among adolescent mothers: A randomized controlled trial of a home-based mentoring program. Pediatrics, 118, 1087-1099.

Black, M. M., Papas, M. A., Bentley, M. E., Cureton, P., Saunders, A., Le, K., Anliker, J., & Robinson, N. (2006). Overweight adolescent African-American mothers gain weight in spite of intentions to lose weight. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106, 80-87.

Hess, C. R., Papas, M. A., & Black, M. M. (2004). Use of the Bayley Infant Neurodevelopmental Screener with an environmental risk group. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29, 321-30.

Krishnakumar, A. & Black, M. M. (2003). Family processes within three-generation households and adolescent mothers' satisfaction with father involvement. Journal of Family Psychology, 17, 488-498.

Hess, C. R., Papas, M. A., & Black, M. M. (2002). Resilience among African American adolescent mothers: predictors of positive parenting in early infancy. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 619-629.

Gavin, L. E., Black, M. M., Minor, S., Abel, Y., Papas, M. A., & Bentley, M. E. (2002). Young, disadvantaged fathers' involvement with their infants: an ecological perspective. Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 266-276.

Martinez, L. M., Black, M., & Starr, R. H. (2002). Factorial structure of the perceived neighborhood scale (PNS): A test of longitudinal invariance. Journal of Community Psychology, 30, 23-43.

Black, M. M., Siegel, E. H., Abel, Y., & Bentley, M. E. (2001). Home and videotape intervention delays early complementary feeding among adolescent mothers. Pediatrics, 107, E67.

Bentley, M., Gavin, L., Black, M. M., & Teti, L. (1999). Infant feeding practices of low-income, African-American, adolescent mothers: an ecological, multigenerational perspective. Social Science & Medicine, 49, 1085-1100.

Black, M. M. & Teti, L. O. (1997). Promoting mealtime communication between adolescent mothers and their infants through videotape. Pediatrics, 99, 432-437.