skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 171004 Find in a Library
Title: Victim, Perpetrator, Family, and Incident Characteristics of 32 Infant Maltreatment Deaths in the United States Air Force
Journal: Child Abuse and Neglect  Volume:22  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1998)  Pages:91-101
Author(s): A L Brewster; J P Nelson; K P Hymel; D R Colby; D R Lucas; T R McCanne; J S Milner
Date Published: 1998
Page Count: 11
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A multidisciplinary approach was used to identify and examine variables related to victims, perpetrators, families, and incidents in 32 substantiated cases of infanticide due to family maltreatment occurring in the United States Air Force during 1989-95; the research also sought to determine factors that might be used to prevent infanticide.
Abstract: Data came from investigative, birth, medical, autopsy, and Air Force Family Advocacy Program records. The records were independently reviewed for 58 criteria; interrater reliability was 96 percent. The average age of the infant victims was 4.9 months. Although 35 percent of the physicians' reports about the infant victims noted colic, only 10 percent of the mothers and 13 percent of the parent perpetrators reported that their infants were colicky. Fifty-five percent of the infant victims had physical trauma before the fatal incident, indicating physical abuse. At death, the infants' weights were in the 36th percentile and their lengths were in the 39th percentiles in comparison to normal infants the same age. Twenty-three percent of the caretaker-perpetrators had a history of abuse in childhood. Eighty-four percent of the perpetrators were male, 77 percent were the victims' biological fathers, and 54 percent were first-time parents. The families were typically composed of a married young mother aged 23.3 years and father aged 24.3 years, with 1 or 2 children. The incidents involved the infant victim crying (58 percent) and alone with the caretaker-perpetrator (86 percent) on the weekend (47 percent) at around noon in the home (71 percent). Findings indicated several factors related to infanticide and suggested that awareness of these factors may help prevent infanticide. Table, figure, and 32 references (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse causes; Child abuse prevention; Family homicide; Homicide causes; Infanticide; Military crime; Murderers; US Air Force; Violence prevention
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.