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a sociological analysis of maternal infanticide in the united states, 1984-1996

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This study investigates structural predictors of maternal infanticide at the macro level. Our findings lend support to the economic stress hypothesis, which predicts increased maternal aggression and lethal violence by mothers toward their children in contexts of economic stress. Specifically, states in which high numbers of women of childbearing age are in poverty are states with high rates of maternal infanticides. The findings also indicate support for the notion that relative deprivation affects maternal violence in that extreme poverty amid extreme wealth is conducive to stress-related violence.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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