Maternal exposure to childhood maltreatment and risk of stillbirth

Alexa A. Freedman, Alison L. Cammack, Jeff R. Temple, Robert M. Silver, Donald J. Dudley, Barbara J. Stoll, Michael W. Varner, George R. Saade, Deborah Conway, Robert L. Goldenberg, Carol J. Hogue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the association between maternal exposure to childhood maltreatment (CM) and risk of stillbirth (fetal death at or after 20 weeks' gestation). Methods: Population-based case-control study from the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network (SCRN) conducted in 2006–2008, and the follow-up study, SCRN-Outcomes after Study Index Stillbirth (SCRN-OASIS), conducted in 2009 in the United States. Cases (n = 133) included women who experienced a stillbirth, excluding stillbirths attributed to genetic/structural or umbilical cord abnormalities and intrapartum stillbirths. Controls (n = 500) included women delivering a healthy term live birth (excluding births less than 37 weeks gestation, neonatal intensive care unit admission, or death). CM exposure was measured using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire, administered during the SCRN-OASIS study. Dichotomized scores for five subscales of CM (physical abuse, physical neglect, emotional abuse, emotional neglect, and sexual abuse) and an overall measure of CM exposure were analyzed using logistic regression. Results: Generally, there was no association between CM and stillbirth, except for the emotional neglect subscale (OR: 1.93; 95% CI: 1.17, 3.19). Conclusions: Childhood neglect is understudied in comparison to abuse and should be included in the future studies of associations between CM and pregnancy outcomes, including stillbirth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-465.e2
JournalAnnals of epidemiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • Adult survivors of childhood trauma
  • African Americans
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Child maltreatment
  • Stillbirth
  • Stress
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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