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Child Abuse Negl. 2000 Sep;24(9):1175-83.

Maternal behaviors associated with smothering: a preliminary descriptive study.

Author information

1
Psychotherapy Department, Broadmoor Hospital, Crowthorne, Berkshire, UK.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe maternal behavior in 15 women identified as having smothered their children.

DESIGN:

A descriptive study of maternal behavior and interaction with her child, using videotapes of mother and child together. These were obtained by covert video surveillance in a hospital setting. Maternal behavior was rated using an assessment schedule designed to be used with video.

RESULTS:

The mothers showed a range of behaviors. Three groups emerged; one whose interaction with the child resembled normal maternal behavior, a second who interacted in a hostile way, and a third who showed a paucity of interaction.

CONCLUSION:

These preliminary data suggest that smothering may reflect more than one type of abnormal maternal relationship or attitude towards children. This may have implications for treatment and prognosis.

PMID:
11057704
DOI:
10.1016/s0145-2134(00)00174-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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