Clinical Assessment of Dangerousness: Empirical Contributions

By Georges-Franck Pinard; Linda Pagani | Go to book overview

9
Parents at Risk of Filicide
MAUREEN MARKS

Introduction

Homicide is a major contributor to child mortality. Moreover, official records of rates of child homicide are almost certainly underestimates. Some infant homicides are never discovered, especially those killed soon after delivery, and others are never recorded as such. For example, it is generally considered that at least 2% to 10% of registered cot deaths are probably homicides (Knowledon, Keeling, & Nicholl, 1985; Emery, 1985) and a more recent study suggests the proportion may be even greater (Wolkind, Taylor, Waite, Dalton, & Emery, 1993).

When a child becomes the victim of homicide, a parent is usually the perpetrator. In this chapter I will summarize what is known about the characteristics of children who have been killed and of the parents who killed them and what this may tell us about the underlying causes of such tragedies.

One of the major problems in understanding parental filicide is that most of the research into the subject has been obtained from either official statistics or from highly selective case samples; for example, parents referred to psychiatric or forensic services, or from anecdotal literature reports. The recording of official statistics tends to be unreliable and the range of data recorded limited, and because different countries tend to record information in different ways international comparisons are difficult. There are also cultural differences in the extent to which child homicides in themselves are consistently recorded. Although the data from selected samples tend to be more reliable and informative, the conclusions that can be drawn about child homicides in general from such samples are of limited value. They may

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Clinical Assessment of Dangerousness: Empirical Contributions
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Contributors vii
  • Prologue ix
  • References xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Clinical Assessment of Dangerousness: an Overview of the Literature *
  • References *
  • Basic Issues in Violence Research 23
  • 2 - Biology, Development, and Dangerousness *
  • References *
  • 3 - The Development of Physical Aggression During Childhood and the Prediction of Later Dangerousness 47
  • References *
  • 4 - Predicting Adult Official and Self-Reported Violence 66
  • References *
  • Mental Health Issues and Dangerousness 89
  • 5 - Major Mental Disorder and Violence: Epidemiology and Risk Assessment *
  • References 100
  • 6 - Axis II Disorders and Dangerousness 103
  • References *
  • 7 - Recidivistic Violent Behavior and Axis I and Axis II Disorders 121
  • References *
  • Family Issues and Dangerousness 136
  • 8 - Risk Assessment for Intimate Partner Homicide *
  • References *
  • 9 - Parents at Risk of Filicide 158
  • References *
  • 10 - Parricide 181
  • References 194
  • Individual Characteristics and Dangerousness 195
  • 11 - Alcohol and Dangerousness *
  • References *
  • 12 - Violence and Substance Abuse 216
  • References *
  • 13 - Threats, Stalking, and Criminal Harassment 238
  • References *
  • Conclusion 258
  • 14 - Discussion and Clinical Commentary on Issues in the Assessment and Prediction of Dangerousness *
  • References *
  • Index 279
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