Year: 1969 Source: American Journal of Psychiatry, v.126, no.3, (1969), p.325-334 SIEC No: 19840906

The author reviews 131 cases of child murder and proposes a new classification of filicide by apparent motive: altruistic, acutely psychotic, unwanted child, accidental, and spouse revenge. The high frequency of altruisic motives distinguishes filicide from other homicides. The psychodynamics of the filicide impulse are explored: displacement of the murderer’s original aggression from his parents, spouse, or sibling is documented. The author offers some considerations for prevention.