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Abstract

Battering during pregnancy affects the health of both pregnant women and their unborn children. The purpose of this retrospective study of 488 primarily Medicaid-eligible postpartum women was to identify the constellation of factors associated with violence. The prevalence of battering during pregnancy was 7%, similar to that found in other studies. Significant correlates of battering included anxiety, depression, housing problems, inadequate prenatal care, and drug and alcohol use. Woman battering by a partner during pregnancy was associated with a greater severity of this constellation of patterns than those experiencing abuse before pregnancy only, or those experiencing physical attack by someone other than their partner. These factors are important to recognize in nursing assessment of pregnant women.