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Study Examines Relationship Between Pregnant Women’s Hostile Attributes And Early Child Maltreatment

A prospective longitudinal study by , Ph.D., of the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Baltimore, and colleagues examined ’s hostile about infants as a risk factor for early and harsh parenting. (Online First)

A diverse, community-based sample of 499 pregnant women participated in the study. Hostile attributions were examined in terms of women’s beliefs about infants’ negative intentions. Mother’s hostile attributions were associated with an increased likelihood that their child would be maltreated by the age of 26 months. Mothers who made more hostile attributions during pregnancy reported engaging in more harsh parenting behaviors when their children were toddlers.

“A pregnant woman’s hostile attributions about infant’s intentions signal risk for maltreatment and harsh parenting of her child during the first years of life. Practitioners’ attention to women’s hostile attributions may help identify those in need of immediate practitioner input and/or referral to parenting services,” the study concludes.

Source

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Please see the articles for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

Examining Pregnant Women’s Hostile Attributions About Infants as a Predictor of Offspring Maltreatment, Lisa J. Berlin, PhD; Kenneth A. Dodge, PhD; J. Steven Reznick, PhD JAMA Pediatr. 2013;():1-5. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.1212.

JAMA Pediatrics