Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 287–295 | Cite as

Filicide: A Comparison by Sex and Presence or Absence of Self-destructive Behavior

  • Suzanne LéveilléeEmail author
  • Jacques D. Marleau
  • Myriam Dubé
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to identify sociodemographic, contextual, situational, and individual variables, as well as certain behavioral warning signs, associated with filicide as a function of sex of the agressors and the presence or absence of self-destructive behaviours. The data cover all officially registered filicides committed in Quebec from January 1, 1986, to March 31, 1994, against youths under the age of 18 years. For the group of individuals who have self-destructive behaviours, results indicate that men compared to women are more likely to commit spousal homicide, to kill a higher number of victims, to be going through a conjugal separation, to have committed conjugal violence, to have threatened suicide, and to have threatened to kill their spouse. For the group of individuals who commit no self-destructive acts, women are more likely to present with a depressive disorder, whereas men are more likely to maltreated their children. Men who do not commit a self-destructive act are characterized by a significantly higher likelihood of maltreatment against their children and of tyrannical discipline, whereas men who commit a self-destructive act perpetrate filicide as a means of reprisal against their spouse. Results underscore the importance of considering the different groups of individuals who commit filicide as a function of sex as well as presence or absence of self-destructive behaviour.


Filicide Suicide Familicide Homicide Uxoricide Child abuse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne Léveillée
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jacques D. Marleau
    • 2
  • Myriam Dubé
    • 3
  1. 1.Département de PsychologieUniversité du Québec à Trois-RivièresTrois-RivièresCanada
  2. 2.Centre de Recherche de l’Institut Philippe Pinel de MontréalMontrealCanada
  3. 3.Centre de Recherche Interdisciplinaire Sur la Violence Faite aux FemmesUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

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