The prevalence and correlates of jitteriness were evaluated in a sample of 936 healthy full-term infants. Jitteriness was seen in 44% of this sample: 23% were classified as mildly jittery, 8% as moderately jittery, and 13% as extremely jittery. Jitteriness was seen most commonly in infants who were sleepy or active and least commonly in infants who were quietly wakeful during the neonatal examination. Jittery infants were more likely to be difficult to console when crying (P < .01) and less visually alert (P < .001) than were nonjittery infants. Jitteriness was seen more commonly in slightly smaller (P < .05) and shorter (P < .001) infants, in those more than 12 hours old (P < .01), and in those not exposed to general anesthesia (P < .05). In an expanded sample of 1054 healthy and sick full-term infants, jitteriness was observed more commonly in neonates who had been exposed prenatally to maternal marijuana use (P < .01), but not to cocaine use (P = .1), and whose mothers had a positive postpartum urine assay for marijuana (P < .05) or cocaine (P = .06). The magnitude of these drug effects, however, was small. These findings have important implications for the early parent-infant relationship, pediatric practice, and future research.

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