Lynne C. Huffman

Publication Details

  • Poor adolescent expectant mothers: Can we assess their potential for child abuse? JOURNAL OF ADOLESCENT HEALTH Zelenko, M. A., Huffman, L., Lock, J., Kennedy, Q., Steiner, H. 2001; 29 (4): 271-278


    To explore the correlates of high scores on the Child Abuse Potential Inventory in adolescent expectant mothers.Child Abuse Potential scores and data on demographics, pregnancy desire, history of maltreatment, psychological functioning, and perceived social support were obtained by self-report and semi-structured interview. The sample consisted of 50 poor single adolescents recruited from prenatal clinics during the second half of the pregnancy. The relationships among the variables were assessed using Pearson product-moment correlation and multiple regression strategies.Higher Child Abuse Potential scores were associated with higher maternal psychological distress, maternal history of psychiatric diagnosis, and lack of perceived support by the father of the baby. Older pregnant teenagers were more likely to report childhood history of maltreatment, higher psychological distress, and perceived and expected less support by the maternal mother. Expectant mothers who were raised by a single parent were more likely to have a history of childhood maltreatment, less likely to live with the father of the baby during their pregnancy and to expect less support from him.Child Abuse Potential scores, obtained during pregnancy in a sample of poor single adolescents provide a marker of maternal prenatal functioning and perceived social support. Further studies are warranted to validate prenatal use of the Child Abuse Potential Inventory (CAPI), which may help identify populations at particularly high risk for child abuse during pregnancy and inform strategies for early preventive interventions. Adolescent education on family planning, child rearing, and social support programs should address the importance of the fathers' role.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000171209100006

    View details for PubMedID 11587911

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