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Soc. Sci. 2018, 7(9), 168;

An Examination of the Mental Health and Negative Life Events of Women Who Killed Their Children

Department of Justice Studies, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA
Department of Criminology, The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ 08618, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 July 2018 / Revised: 8 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
Full-Text   |   PDF [243 KB, uploaded 19 September 2018]


Research on filicide, the killing of a child by a biological or a de facto parent or parents, has largely focused on mothers. However, little is known about how filicidal women compare to filicidal men or whether they differ from women who commit non-filicide murder. The study explores pre-incarceration negative life events and mental health histories of women incarcerated for filicide as compared to men incarcerated for the same offense and women who were incarcerated for non-filicide murder. Extensive gender differences in filicidal parents were found in terms of economic marginalization, physical and sexual abuse, mental health problems. Filicidal women had more mental health problems and lower monthly income than women incarcerated for non-filicide murder, but there were more similarities than differences detected between the two groups of female offenders. The paper concludes with policy recommendations. View Full-Text
Keywords: filicide; women offenders; family violence; homicide filicide; women offenders; family violence; homicide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Poteyeva, M.; Leigey, M. An Examination of the Mental Health and Negative Life Events of Women Who Killed Their Children. Soc. Sci. 2018, 7, 168.

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