Identification of factors that may lead to child maltreatment is important for intervention at the earliest point in time. Substance use can adversely impact the developing bond between mother and child. The formation of an insecure attachment relationship may place the child at a greater risk for child abuse or neglect. If the mother-child bond can be assessed during pregnancy then intervention relating to attachment and prevention of child abuse may be possible. The relationships between childhood history of and the potential for child abuse, substance use, and fetal attachment were investigated utilizing a sample of 56 pregnant women from a local clinic and jail. Participants ranged in age from 18 to 40 years and were between 10-40 weeks pregnant. Women completed 3 measures that assessed their childhood history of abuse, potential to commit child abuse, fetal attachment, feelings about pregnancy, and current substance use. Feelings about pregnancy appeared to have important ramifications for fetal bonding and the potential for child abuse.
Master of Arts (MA)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Substance-Related Disorders -- psychology; Pregnancy Complications; Maternal-Fetal Exchange; Child Abuse -- psychology; Mother-Child Relations; Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects; Object Attachment
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Barcley, Trisha Paulette, "Fetal Attachment Among Pregnant Substance Users" (2003). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 1130.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives