Psychiatric Diagnoses of Abusive Mothers: A Preliminary Report


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Abstract

The Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R diagnoses of 54 mothers who had maltreated their children were compared with those of 37 controls. The maltreatment group showed a significantly greater incidence of both current and past diagnoses. Maltreating mothers exhibited a significantly greater incidence of current mood disorder, alcohol abuse, and personality disorder than did controls. The results indicate that past abuse of cocaine, alcohol, other substances and past mood disorders were significantly more prevalent among the maltreatment sample than among controls. Mothers who had maltreated their children were significantly more likely to have histories of posttraumatic stress disorder than were controls.

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