Prediction of Child Maltreatment during Pregnancy

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Fourteen hundred expectant mothers volunteered to be interviewed about their attitudes, experiences, and knowledge of child rearing. The purpose of the interview was to identify parental predictors of child maltreatment. Based upon answers, 273 were expected to be at high risk for parenting disorders. After delivery, their infants and 225 selected randomly from all remaining mothers were followed in a double-blind fashion for evidence of child abuse, neglect, and nonorganic failure to thrive. All three parenting disorders were found significantly more often in the high-risk families.

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