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Int J Offender Ther Comp Criminol. 2007 Dec;51(6):646-75. Epub 2007 Jul 5.

A comparative analysis of media reports of U.S. parricide cases with officially reported national crime data and the psychiatric and psychological literature.

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University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620-8100, USA.


This article is a content analysis of 150 unique cases of children killing parents in the United States as reported in the electronic news media. The accuracy of online coverage of U.S. parricide incidents is assessed using two types of resources: officially reported national statistics on known parricidal incidents and the psychological and psychiatric literature on matricide and patricide. Comparisons of news accounts of media-reported U.S. parricide cases with Supplementary Homicide Report data indicate that electronic media coverage of parricide cases focused on the more sensational and unusual parricides. Analyses of these media accounts by offender age found 13 significant differences between juvenile and adult offenders. Ten of these 13 differences related to motive and Heide's parricide offender types (severely abused, severely mentally ill, and dangerously antisocial) and were consistent with the mental health-related literature in this area. The limitations and directions for future research are discussed at length.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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