Homicide-followed-by-suicide incidents involving child victims

Joseph E. Logan, Sabrina Walsh, Nimeshkumar Patel, Jeffrey E. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To describe homicide-followed- by-suicide incidents involving child victims Methods: Using 2003-2009 National Violent Death Reporting System data, we characterized 129 incidents based on victim and perpetrator demographic information, their relationships, the weapons/mechanisms involved, and the perpetrators' health and stress-related circumstances. Results: These incidents accounted for 188 child deaths; 69% were under 11 years old, and 58% were killed with a firearm. Approximately 76% of perpetrators were males, and 75% were parents/caregivers. Eighty-one percent of incidents with paternal perpetrators and 59% with maternal perpetrators were preceded by parental discord. Fiftytwo percent of incidents with maternal perpetrators were associated with maternal psychiatric problems. Conclusions: Strategies that resolve parental conflicts rationally and facilitate detection and treatment of parental mental conditions might help prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-542
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health Behavior
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

Keywords

  • Children
  • Homicide-suicide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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