Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Dead children from problem families in NE Wiltshire.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 08 January 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:115
  1. J E Oliver


    Analysis of 147 families in NE Wiltshire known to have suffered child neglect or abuse over two generations showed than in 21 years 560 children had been born. Of these, 513 were known to have been neglected or assaulted or both; 41 out of 560 had died. Only three deaths led to criminal convictions. Detailed collated confidential information indicated that parental behaviour towards the dead children, in particular those aged from 5 weeks to 1 year, had often caused or contributed to their deaths, including some claimed to be clear-cut cases of accident or illness.