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Arch Hellen Med, 20(5), September-October 2003, 484-496


Child homicide: Contemporary data

1st Department of Psychiatry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece

This paper reviews epidemiological and psychopathological data concerning people who have committed child homicide, with a view to identifying the risk factors for child abuse and homicide, such as familial stressful conditions and violence. The relationship of child homicide with abuse/neglect, and the perpetrator’s mental status are also reviewed, especially in the cases when parents are the perpetrators. Psychiatric parental history, socio-economic factors (such as unmarried, poorly educated, young mothers, especially adolescents, with low income, without a supportive environment and with a violent husband or partner), difficult temperament of the infant and the problems of mother-child attachment, are the main factors put infants at high risk for abuse. The development of specific abuse and infanticide prevention strategies, through a multidisciplinary scientific collaboration, are proposed which could lead to the amelioration of stressful conditions in families at high risk for child abuse.

Key words: Abuse, Child homicide, Filicide, Neonaticide.

© Archives of Hellenic Medicine