Fertility and Contraception Among Low-Income Child Abusing and Neglecting Mothers in Baltimore, MD, 1984-1985
Investigators: Susan J. Zuvarin

This study concerned fertility patterns and contracepting behaviors of mothers who personally neglect their children and mothers who either physically abuse or allow someone else to physically abuse their children. Data were collected from 518 women interviewed in their homes. All respondents were residents of Baltimore, Maryland in January 1984, received Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), were known to have at least one natural child 12 or under, and were not living with a legally wedded spouse. Respondents comprised three groups: 118 women with one or more physically abused children, 119 women who were known to personally neglect one or more children, and 281 women who were not known to have any children who met study criteria for abuse or neglect. The interview included 1,372 closed-end items and took approximately 90 minutes to complete. Topics covered included growing-up experiences, problems with depression and substance abuse, employment aspirations, marital and courtship violence, self-esteem, reproductive history, family planning behaviors, and demographic characteristics. Items were taken from the National Survey of Family Growth, Cycle III (DAAPPP Data Set Nos. 26 and 27), the 1979 National Survey of Young Men and Young Women (DAAPPP Data Set Nos. 44 and 45), and the National Survey of Unmarried Young Women (DAAPPP Data Set No. D5-D7). Also included were the Beck Depression Inventory, the Rosenberg self-esteem measures, the Michigan Profile of Parenting, the Conflict Tactics Scale, and a series of questions regarding mental health problems and social relationships from the NIMH Diagnostic Interview Schedule. The resulting data file has 518 cases and 1,404 variables.

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