Unplanned childbearing and family size: their relationship to child neglect and abuse

Fam Plann Perspect. Jul-Aug 1991;23(4):155-61.


Mothers from 198 low-income, female-headed families enrolled in child protective services because of child abuse or neglect were compared with an equal number of age-matched controls, to determine if unplanned childbearing and family size increase the risk of child neglect or abuse. Logistic regression analyses suggest that unplanned childbearing increases the risk of child abuse but not of child neglect. Large family size significantly raises the risk of both types of maltreatment, although this factor had a greater effect on the risk of abuse than on the risk of neglect. Finally, unplanned childbearing appears to be indirectly related to abuse through its effect on family size.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / epidemiology*
  • Child, Unwanted*
  • Family Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Single Parent*
  • Socioeconomic Factors