Why battering during pregnancy?

J. C. Campbell, C. Oliver, L. Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This exploratory study was designed to determine the reasons men might beat their female partners during pregnancy from the perspectives of women who had experienced this form of violence. Seventy-nine battered women were recruited by newspaper advertisement and bulletin board postings to take part in a larger study of women's responses to relationship problems. Women battered in their relationships were asked if they had ever been beaten during pregnancy. The 27 (34%) women who had a pregnancy with the abusive partner as the father and had experienced physical abuse during the pregnancy were compared with 24 (30%) women who also had been pregnant by the abuser but had not been abused during pregnancy. The only significant difference between the two groups was that the women battered during pregnancy were more frequently and severely beaten throughout the course of the relationship. Those abused during pregnancy were asked why they thought that had happened. Their answers were thematically analyzed into the categories: (1) jealousy of the unborn child; (2) anger toward the unborn child; (3) pregnancy-specific violence not directed toward the unborn child; and (d) "business as usual." Implications for nursing assessment and interventions for abuse during pregnancy are derived from this analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-349
Number of pages7
JournalAWHONN"s clinical issues in perinatal and women"s health nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Why battering during pregnancy?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this