A psychosocial analysis of child homicide

Julia Stroud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Child homicide has been a key influence on childcare policy and practice over the last three decades, with a particular focus on the assessment, management and monitoring of situations where children are at risk and on associated inter-agency working. A psychosocial analysis of the pre-offence experiences of 68 adults (mostly parents or carers) who killed or attempted to kill a child identified complex, intricate and heterogeneous processes in respect of their interpersonal relationships, stress and mental health and the relationship of these factors to the offence. These findings indicate that the current policy and practice focus upon procedures and performance in safeguarding children may not address successfully the complex needs of those adults who may pose a risk to children. It is suggested that appropriate therapeutic services should be more readily available. Key words:
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)482-505
Number of pages24
JournalCritical Social Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


  • child death
  • child murder
  • filicide
  • infanticide


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