Perinatal complications and child abuse in a poverty sample.
ABSTRACT Perinatal medical illness has been associated with child maltreatment. Using a Child Protective Service (CPS) report as the defining event, this study explores to what extent perinatal morbidity is a risk factor for maltreatment.
Medical charts of 206 children ages 0-3 years were reviewed. Data regarding birth history were collected and analyzed in three groups of children: children whose medical record indicated a report to CPS based on prenatal findings (Early Maternal Inadequacy group [EMI]), children whose medical record indicated a report to CPS based only on postnatal findings (Child Maltreatment group [CM]), and a control group without CPS report (NM).
Compared to the CM and the NM groups, children in the EMI group showed significantly lower birth weight and higher neonatal morbidity as measured by Apgar scores, frequency of oxygen requirement and intubation at birth, frequency of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care unit, and frequency of neonatal medical problems. There was no significant difference between the CM and the NM groups in birth weight, gestational age, and other measures of morbidity.
The results of the study suggest that perinatal complications are associated with prenatal maltreatment. Previously reported strong associations between neonatal morbidity and child abuse are more likely a result of antecedent prenatal maternal behaviors (early maternal inadequacy). Early maternal inadequacy, a clinically and demographically distinct phenomenon, is important due to serious health, development and financial implications and deserves further exploration.
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ABSTRACT: The study explores the prenatal Child Abuse Potential (pCAP) scores derived from the Child Abuse Potential Inventory administered to expectant adolescent mothers. The aim of the study was to assess the association of the pCAP scores with maternal negative prenatal behaviors, and evaluate the contribution of the pCAP scores to neonatal morbidity. The pCAP scores, demographic data, and self-report on prenatal behaviors were obtained during the second half of the pregnancy in a sample of 45 poor single adolescent mothers. A pediatrician blind to the prenatal data reviewed the neonatal records to assess neonatal morbidity. Maternal prenatal records were reviewed for obstetric risk assessment by an obstetrician who was blind to the rest of the data. The relations among the pCAP scores, prenatal behaviors, and neonatal morbidity were analyzed. In the prenatal period, the pCAP scores were positively correlated with self-reported prenatal smoking and substance use. The multiple linear regression analysis showed that the pCAP scores significantly contributed to neonatal morbidity independently of obstetric risk factors. The Child Abuse Potential scores obtained during pregnancy in poor single adolescent mothers reflect domains of maternal functioning that are associated with negative prenatal behaviors and appear to be important for predicting neonatal morbidity. Further studies are warranted to validate the prenatal use of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory.Child Abuse & Neglect 12/2001; 25(11):1481-95. DOI:10.1016/S0145-2134(01)00284-8 · 2.47 Impact Factor
Article: The authors respondJournal of Adolescent Health 03/2002; 30(3). DOI:10.1016/S1054-139X(01)00420-7 · 2.75 Impact Factor