Child abuse potential in at-risk African American mothers: The role of life experience variables

Sidney R. Ornduff, Robert M. Kelsey, Charlotte Bursi, Bruce S. Alpert, Henrietta S. Bada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The effects of life experience variables on child abuse potential were evaluated in 95 prospectively recruited African American mothers 1 month postpartum. All participants had used opiates or cocaine during pregnancy and were considered high risk for child maltreatment. Abuse potential was assessed with the Child Abuse Potential Inventory, a widely used and psychometrically sound measure with demonstrated predictive validity. Conceptually relevant measures of life experiences and demographic data were obtained from hospital records, maternal self-report, and clinician-administered interviews. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis indicated that exposure to violence in the family of origin and lifetime use of illicit substances made significant independent contributions to the prediction of child physical abuse potential, even after maternal age and current socioeconomic status were controlled for.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-444
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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