Knowledge and Resource Hub
14 May 2019

Child murder by mothers: Patterns and prevention.

This research review identified common predictors of maternal filicide. Mothers’ motives for committing filicide varied, and may have been altruistic, due to acute psychosis or fatal maltreatment, having an unwanted child, or spouse revenge. Suicidality, psychosis, depression, social disadvantage and child abuse were found to be risk factors. However prevention is difficult because many of the risk factors are also common among mothers who do not kill their children and the profiles of maternal filicide offenders are often very different from each other.