Intimate partner violence and miscarriage: Examination of the role of physical and psychological abuse and posttraumatic stress disorder

Leslie A. Morland, Gregory A. Leskin, Carolyn Rebecca Block, Jacquelyn C. Campbell, Matthew J. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite research documenting high rates of violence during pregnancy, few studies have examined the impact of physical abuse, psychological abuse, and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on miscarriage. Secondary analysis of data collected by the Chicago Women's Health Risk Study permitted an exploration of the relationships among physical abuse, psychological abuse, PTSD, and miscarriage among 118 primarily ethnic minority women. The interaction between maximum severity of abuse and age provided the best multivariate predictor of miscarriage rate, accounting for 26.9% of the variance between live birth and miscarriage outcome. Mean scores of psychological abuse, physical violence, forced sex, and PTSD were significantly higher in the miscarriage group than in the live birth group. Women who experience physical violence and psychological abuse during pregnancy may be at greater risk for miscarriage. Prospective studies can confirm findings and determine underlying mechanisms. Routine screening for traumatic stress and PTSD may reduce rates of miscarriage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)652-669
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Interpersonal Violence
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2008



  • Miscarriage
  • PTSD
  • Physical abuse
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

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