Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 243–251 | Cite as

Severe disorders of the mother–infant relationship: definitions and frequency

  • I. F. Brockington
  • H. M. Aucamp
  • C. Fraser
Original contribution


We assessed the frequency of severe disorders of the mother–infant relationship in over 200 mothers referred to services in Birmingham and Christchurch, all of whom were interviewed using the Birmingham Interview for Maternal Mental Health. 10.6% had established rejection and 14.6% threatened rejection of their infants. 28.6% had various degrees of pathological anger, which was severe in 8.3%. Rejection was strongly associated with unwanted pregnancy and lack of interaction with the foetus.

Keywords: Mother–infant relationship disorder; rejection of child; child abuse; child neglect; unwanted pregnancy; prepartum bonding. 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. F. Brockington
    • 1
  • H. M. Aucamp
    • 2
  • C. Fraser
    • 3
  1. 1.Professor emeritus, University of BirminghamBredenburyU.K.
  2. 2.Mothers and Babies UnitPrincess Margaret HospitalCashmereNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Psychological MedicineUniversity of Wales College of Medicine, Heath ParkCardiffU.K.

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