Neonaticide, infanticide, and filicide: a review of the literature

Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 1995;23(3):375-86.


This article summarizes and reviews the literature on neonaticide, infanticide, and filicide. A literature review was conducted using the Medline database: the cue terms neonaticide, infanticide, and filicide were searched. One hundred-fifteen articles were reviewed; of these, 51 are cited in our article. We conclude that while infanticide dates back to the beginning of recorded history, little is known about what causes parents to murder their children. To this end, further research is needed to identify potential perpetrators and to prevent subsequent acts of child murder by a parent.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous
  • Congenital Abnormalities
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infanticide* / classification
  • Infanticide* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Infanticide* / psychology
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
  • Pregnancy
  • Sudden Infant Death
  • Terminology as Topic