Increased child abuse in families with twins.

Research in nursing & health

PubMedID: 6925853

Robarge JP, Reynolds ZB, Groothuis JR. Increased child abuse in families with twins. Res Nurs Health. 1982;5(4):199-203.
Close spacing of children may be a significant risk factor for subsequent abuse in some families. Twin births are an extreme example of close spacing. Therefore, the authors hypothesized that twin births may predispose to an increased incidence of child abuse. Thirty-eight families with twins were compared with 97 single birth families and matched for birthdate, maternal age, race, and socioeconomic status. Families with twins experienced a significantly higher incidence of child abuse and neglect than did those with single births (p less than .003). A written questionnaire designed to study mothers' feelings and perceptions of support systems showed a significant difference only in greater difficulty in feeding twins as compared with single infants (p less than .001). Mothers of abused children were more likely not to answer the questionnaire at all (p less than .005). Neither mothers of single births nor those of twins felt that health professionals provided adequate education or support following the birth of their infants.