Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Graduate Nursing

First Advisor

Penny Powers


Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a lifelong disability that adversely affects the quality of life for afflicted children, adolescents, and adults (Streissguth, Aase, Clarren, Romdels, LaDue, and Smith, 1992). FAS can cause both mental retardation and physical anomalies (Eliason & Williams, 1990). The plains Indian tribes in the United States have been especially affected by FAS, estimated at 10.7 per 1000 live births (May, 1982). Identifying possible predictors of mothers of children with a diagnosis of FAS or other Alcohol Related Birth Defects (ARBD) (Indian Health Service ICD-9 Code 760.71) on a plains Indian Reservation is the first step in the process of describing high risk mothers in the population. This study specifically focused upon the possible contributing factors of physical and sexual abuse, psychiatric problems, documented alcohol use, trauma, maternal age and educational status. This study found that there were predictors within the case group of women which place them at higher risk of giving birth to an FAS or ARBD child, including increased intentional trauma and assaults, sexual abuse, psychiatric illness, documented heavy alcohol use, and increased maternal age. It is hoped that this study will lead to further research toward identifying risk factors of mothers who give birth to FAS and ARBD children and thereby aid prevention efforts to reduce their incidence.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Indian women -- Alcohol use -- Great Plains
Alcoholism in pregnancy -- Prevention




South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright