Sunday, January 24, 2016

Killing the Mother of One's Child: Psychiatric Risk Factors among Male Perpetrators & Offspring Health Consequences

To study possible psychiatric and criminological risk factors of intimate partner femicide (IPF) as well as the bereaved offspring's psychiatric morbidity and premature death.

We conducted a nested case-control study, based on Swedish national registries, including all perpetrators of IPF. We computed risk estimates relative to matched population controls, which were compared to those of non-IPF homicide offenders. Exposed children were matched to population controls and followed longitudinally up to 37 years. Offspring outcomes were psychiatric and substance use disorders (according to ICD) self-harm; violent crime; suicide; and premature, all-cause death.

We identified 261 male IPF perpetrators and 494 bereaved children from 1973 through 2009. Multivariable logistic regression suggested that major mental disorder  and violent crime convictions were independent risk factors of IPF, but substance use disorders were not. Children exposed to IPF before age 18 years had elevated risks of major mental disorder, substance use disorders and self-harm. Offspring 18 years or older at the IPF had an increased risk of completed suicide.

Previous major mental disorder and violent behavior were strong independent risk factors for IPF. Bereavement caused by IPF had significant associations with the offspring's future life, especially for those below 18 years of age at exposure. Our findings demonstrate the need of direct support to the exposed offspring by health care providers and social services.

Full article at:

  • 1Karolinska Institutet, Department of Clinical Neuroscience/Stockholm County Council, Centre for Psychiatry Research, St Göran's Hospital, SE-112 81 Stockholm, Sweden 
  •  2016 Jan 5. 

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