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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220731 Find in a Library
Title: Comparative Analysis of Media Reports of U.S. Parricide Cases with Officially Reported National Crime Data and the Psychiatric and Psychological Literature
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:51  Issue:6  Dated:December 2007  Pages:646-675
Author(s): Kathleen M. Heide; Denise Paquette Boots
Date Published: December 2007
Page Count: 30
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article is a content analysis of 150 unique cases of children killing parents (parricide) in the United States as reported in the electronic news media.
Abstract: Comparisons of news accounts of media-reported United States parricide cases with Supplementary Homicide Report data indicate that electronic media coverage of parricide (parental killing) cases focuses 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. This article clearly points to the need for future research to track whether media coverage of parricides involving juvenile and adult offenders changes over time. There is also an identified need for scholars to examine the media’ portrayal of other serious crimes and to measure the accuracy of the media’s depiction by comparing it with official data and the clinical literature focusing on offenders. Children killing parents has generated enormous interest for many years. The study contributes to the literature on media and crime, as well as parricide by considering how the media depicts such murderous events within society. The article initially reviews the sparse literature which specifically focuses on analyzing media accounts of parricidal incidents. It then compares the extent to which available online media accounts reflect officially known incidents involving the murders of mothers and fathers. The article concludes with a comprehensive review of the significant body of literature addressing the motivational dynamics behind the killings of parents. Tables, references
Main Term(s): Family homicide
Index Term(s): Family crisis; Home environment; Homicide; Juvenile murderers; Juvenile offenders; Media coverage; Murderers; Violent juvenile offenders
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