Coleman, P. K., Rue, V., Coyle, C., Maxey, D. C. (2007). Induced abortion and child-directed aggressive behaviors among mothers of children who have been maltreated. Internet Journal of Pediatric Neonatology, Volume 6 No. 2.
Background: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between maternal history of induced abortion and subsequent frequency of child-directed aggressive behavior in a sample of mothers of children who have been abused or neglected. The mothers were either the perpetrators of the maltreatment or they allowed someone else to mistreat their children. Methods: The participants were 237 mothers who were residents of Baltimore and were receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) at the time interviews were conducted in the 1980s. Women with and without a history of abortion were compared relative to child-directed physical aggression after controlling for the experience of a non-voluntary perinatal loss as well as socio-demographic, family of origin, and partner aggression variables associated with the choice to abort. Results: Abortion history was associated with more frequently maternal slapping, hitting, kicking or biting, beating, and use of physical punishment in general. Conclusion: In addition to contributing to the literature on factors related to the frequency of engaging in physically aggressive behaviors, this study adds to our knowledge of variables associated with the choice to abort.