What Separates Parents Who Kill?

1688 WordsOct 8, 20147 Pages
What Separates Parents Who Kill? A parent who has killed his or her child could be considered not mentally ill due to overwhelming bodies of research and evidence that separate parents who commit infanticide and filicide versus those who commit neonaticide. This controversy is extremely relevant to American society given that starting in the late 1970s, 61% of children under the age of five years old were killed by their parents, with a breakdown of 30% that were killed by their mothers and 31% that were killed by their fathers. This statistic placed homicide as the third leading cause of death of children in the United States, positioning America at the top of the list of child homicide rates out of all other developed nations. Another layer of this controversy is that little is known about the factors that could aid in predicting filicide and neonaticide, showing that there are gaps in the awareness of connections between these crimes and histories of mental health (Friedman, Horwitz, and Resnick). For one to come to the conclusion that if a parent who kills their children is considered mentally ill or not, one has to consider the factors and motives that contribute as to why parents commit filicide versus parents who commit neonaticide. Filicide and infanticide, the intentional act of a parent killing his or her child, usually occurs when a parent suffers from a mental illness or is an extremely altered state of mind. What separates filicide from infanticide is that
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