Advertisement

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

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Filicide Suicide Familicide Homicide Uxoricide Child abuse 

References

  1. Adinkrah, M. (2003). Men who kill their own children: Paternal filicide incidents in contemporary Fiji. Child Abuse and Neglect, 27, 557–568.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alder, C., & Polk, K. (2001). Child victims of homicide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bénézech, M. (1991). Dépression et crime : Revue de la littérature et observations originales. Annales Médico-psychologiques, 149, 150–165.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Campion, J. F., Cravens, J. M., & Covan, F. (1988). A study of filicidal men. American Journal of Psychiatry, 145, 1141–1144.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cheung, P. T. K. (1986). Maternal filicide in Hong Kong, 1971–85. Medicine, Science and the Law, 26, 185–192.Google Scholar
  6. Collins, P. L., Shaughnessy, M. F., Bradley, L., & Brown, K. (2001). Filicide–suicide: In search of meaning. North American Journal of Psychology, 3, 277–292.Google Scholar
  7. Conner, K. R., Cerulli, C., & Caine, E. D. (2002). Threatened and attempted suicide by partner-violent male respondents petitioned to family violence court. Violence and Victims, 17, 115–125.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cooper, M., & Eaves, D. (1996). Suicide following homicide in the family. Violence and Victims, 11, 99–112.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Daly, M., & Wilson, M. (1988). Evolutionary social psychology and family homicide. Science, 242, 519–524.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dauvergne, M. (2002). L’homicide au Canada, 2001. Juristat, 22, 1–18.Google Scholar
  11. D’Orban, P. T. (1979). Women who kill their children. British Journal of Psychiatry, 134, 560–571.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Premorel, B. (1993). Le filicide paternel. In J.-L. Viaux (Ed.), Enfance en justice. Roven, France: Publications de l’Université de Roven.Google Scholar
  13. Dubé, M. (1998) Étude rétrospective des facteurs de risque et des indices comportementaux précurseurs de filicide chez une cohorte de parents québécois. Thèse de doctorat inédite, Université de Montréal.Google Scholar
  14. Dubé, M., & Hodgins, S. (2001). Filicides maternels et paternels maltraitants: Facteurs de risque et indices comportementaux précurseurs. Revue québécoise de psychologie, 22, 81–98.Google Scholar
  15. Dubé, M., Hodgins, S., Léveillée, S., & Marleau, J. D. (2004). Étude comparative de filicides maternels et paternels : Facteurs associés et indices comportementaux précurseurs. Revue psychiatrie & violence et Forensic, Numéro spécial, Mai 2004, 31–36.Google Scholar
  16. Ewing, P. (1997). Fatal families : The dynamics of intrafamilial homicide. United States of America: Sage.Google Scholar
  17. Fedorowycz, O. (2001). L’homicide au Canada. Juristat, 21, 1–18.Google Scholar
  18. Felthous, A. R., & Hempel, A. (1995). Combined homicide-suicides: A review. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 40, 846–857.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Fornes, P., Druilhe, L., & Lecomte, D. (1995). Chilhood homicide in Paris, 1990–1993: A report of 81 cases. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 40, 201–204.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Husain, A., & Daniel, A. A. (1984). A comparative study of filicidal and abusive mothers. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 29, 596–598.Google Scholar
  21. Langer, W. L. (1974). Infanticide: A historical survey. History of Childhood Quarterly, 1, 353–365.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Marks, M. N., & Kumar, R. (1996). Infanticide in Scotland. Medicine, Science and the Law, 36, 299–305.Google Scholar
  23. Marleau, J. D., Roy, R., Laporte, L., Webanck, T., & Poulin, B. (1995). Homicide d’enfants commis par la mère. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 40, 142–149.Google Scholar
  24. Marleau, J. D., Poulin, B., Webanck, T., Roy, R., & Laporte, L. (1999a). Paternal filicide: A study of 10 men. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 44, 57–63.Google Scholar
  25. Marleau, J. D., Roy, R., Webanck, T., Laporte, L., & Poulin, B. (1999b). Les parents qui tuent leurs enfants. In J. Proulx, M. Cusson, & M. Ouimet (Eds.), Les violences criminelles (pp. 107–129). Les Presses de l’Université Laval.Google Scholar
  26. Meszaros, K., & Fischer-Danzinger, D. (2000). Extended suicide attempt: Psychopathology, personality and risk factors. Psychopathology, 33, 5–10.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. McGrath, P. (1992). Maternal filicide in Broadmoor Hospital 1919–69. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 3, 271–297.Google Scholar
  28. Mouzos, J., & Rushforth, C. (2003). Family homicide in Australia. Australian Institute of Criminology, Canberra (Australia), no. 255. 6 p.Google Scholar
  29. Paris, J., Nowlis, D., & Bowen, R. (1987). Long term follow-up of borderline patients in a general hospital. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 28, 530–535.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Resnick, P. J. (1969). Child murder by parents: A psychiatric review of filicide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 325–334.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Resnick, P. J. (1970). Murder of the newborn: A psychiatric review of neonaticide. American Journal of Psychiatry, 126, 1414–1420.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Rodenburg, M. (1971). Child murder by depressed parents. Canadian Psychiatric Association Journal, 16, 41–48.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Rosenbaum, M. (1990). The role of depression in couples involved in murder–suicide and homicide. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 147(8), 1036–1039.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Scott, P. D. (1973). Parents who kill their children. Medicine, Science and the Law, 13, 120–126.Google Scholar
  35. Silver, D., & Cardish, R. (1991). BPD outcome studies : Psychotherapy implications. Presented at the American Psychiatric Association, New Orleans.Google Scholar
  36. Stone, M. (1990). The fate of borderline patients. Successful outcome and psychiatric practice. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  37. Vanamo, T., Kauppi, A., Kankola, K., Merikanto, J., & Räsänen, E. (2001). Intra-familial child homicide in Finland 1970–1994: Incidence, causes of death and demographic characteristics. Forensic Science International, 17, 199–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wallace, A. (1986). Homicide: The social reality. Sydney, Australia: New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.Google Scholar
  39. Wilczynski, A. (1997). Child homicide. London: Greenwich Medical Media Ltd.Google Scholar
  40. Wilson, M., Daly, M., & Daniele, A. (1995). Familicide: The killing of spouse and children. Aggressive Behavior, 21, 275–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations