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ERIC Number: EJ926628
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0145-2134
Gender Differences in Filicide Offense Characteristics--A Comprehensive Register-Based Study of Child Murder in Two European Countries
Putkonen, Hanna; Amon, Sabine; Eronen, Markku; Klier, Claudia M.; Almiron, Maria P.; Cederwall, Jenny Yourstone; Weizmann-Henelius, Ghitta
Child Abuse & Neglect: The International Journal, v35 n5 p319-328 May 2011
Objective: This study searched for gender differences in filicidal offense characteristics and associated variables. Methods: In this binational register-based study all filicide perpetrators (75 mothers and 45 fathers) and their crimes in Austria and Finland 1995-2005 were examined for putative gender differences. The assessed variables were associated with the offense characteristics, the offenders' socioeconomic and criminal history, and related stressful events. Results: Mothers had previously committed violent offenses less often than fathers (5% vs. 28%, p less than 0.001) and they were less often employed (27% vs. 49%, p less than 0.05). Mothers' victims were on average younger than those of fathers; median ages of the victims were 3.4 and 6.1 years, respectively (p less than 0.001). Fathers were more often intoxicated during the offense (11% vs. 42%, p less than 0.001) and also used shooting as the method of operation more often than mothers (5% vs. 27%, p less than 0.001). Mothers used drowning, criminal negligence, and poisoning more often than fathers. Fathers' motives were more impulsive in nature (13% vs. 41%, p less than 0.001). After the killing, mothers tried to get rid of the body more often than fathers (25% vs. 7%, p less than 0.05). Conclusions: Fathers who commit filicide may represent at least two subgroups, the one not unlike the common homicide offender; the other, the overloaded, working and suicidal father. Mothers may include several types of offenders, one of which is the neonaticide offender. More detailed descriptions and, therefore, more research are needed. Practice implications: Distressed parents and families need support and health care personnel, social work and other officials need to be alert to notice fatigued parents' signs of despair, especially when several stressful experiences amass. Straightforward enquiry to the situation and even practical and psychological help may be needed for enhanced protection of children. The role of employers should also be discussed in relation to the welfare of working parents. (Contains 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria; Finland