Infanticide and Neonaticide: A Review of 40 Years of Research Literature on Incidence and Causes

Theresa Porter, Helen Gavin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Citations (Scopus)


The prevailing public view on women who kill their babies is that they are either monsters or psychotic, or both. The psychiatric and legal communities recognize that the issue is not as simply dichotomous as this. Evidence suggests that there are important distinctions to be drawn between different types of baby deaths and that this may have implications for identification, punishment, and/or treatment of potential and actual perpetrators. This article reviews and summarizes research, incidence statistics, and judicial and clinical outcomes ranging over four decades of work and sets out various ways forward in the study and prevention of infant murder.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-112
Number of pages14
JournalTrauma, Violence, and Abuse
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2010


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