The obstetric histories and early lives of 28 subsequently abused children are reviewed. The youngest child, more often male, was shown to be most 'at risk' especially of the mother was pregnant. Reduced antenatal care, separation of mother and child during the neonatal peroid, illness, poor features. It is felt that these and other difficulties may be regarded as 'environmental pressures' leading to child abuse by susceptible indivisuals, early recognition of such situations could lead to preventive and supportive measures.
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