The typology of parricide and the role of mental illness: data-driven approach

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Parricide is a rare type of homicide in which mental illness is often an important factor. The aims of this study were (a) to describe the characteristics of parricide offenders with a focus on mental illness and clinical care and (b) to examine Heide's widely used typology of parricide through a data-driven approach. We analyzed all homicides in England and Wales between 1997 and 2014. Parricide offenders in our sample were most often male, unmarried, and unemployed, with a third of offenders diagnosed with schizophrenia; 28% had been in contact with mental health services before the offense. The latent class analysis resulted in three types of parricide offenders: middle-aged with affective disorder, previously abused, and seriously mentally Ill, which confirmed, to an extent, Heide's typology. Health and social care services should actively engage with carers of people with mental illness and support to those caring for older relatives and victims of abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516
Number of pages7
JournalAggressive Behaviour
Issue number6
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • latent class analysis
  • mental health services
  • mental illness
  • parricide
  • typology


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