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Date of Award


Degree Type

Thesis (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Genevieve Arnaut, Ph.D., Psy.D.


The purpose of this study of prior research on filicide (the murder of a child committed by a parent) was to provide a comprehensive review of existing systems for classifying cases of filicide and to posit a more global system based on previous research. Historical aspects of filicide and previous research are discussed. Five prior classification systems are considered in the creation of the new system. The resulting system consists of six unique categories encompassing those already discussed in the literature: neonaticide, unwanted child filicide, vengeance filicide, filicide as a secondary result of violence or neglect, altruistic filicide, and filicide as a result of bizarre delusions or organic brain disorders.