A Comparative Analysis of Multiple Level Risk Factors Between Child Homicide and Child Abuse and Neglect

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1995

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Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to explore and compare the risk factors between two major categories of child homicide and child abuse and neglect. The two child homicide categories are intrafamilial for all children murdered by a caretaker, and extrafamilial for all other homicides involving noncaretakers. Using State of Maryland Child Fatality Review data and Baltimore city Child Abuse and Neglect data, for the period between January 1993 and June 1994, multiple level risk factors are compared. The three levels of risk include individual, family, and community factors. The first phase of the analysis found that Baltimore city and all other Maryland city child homicide data are somewhat similar when examining each level of risk. The second phase of the analysis compares risk factors between each child homicide category. The typical child homicide victim was found to be a black male, with most intrafamilial victims under 10 years of age, and most extrafamilial victims between 10 and 17 years of age. The intrafamilial suspects were primarily the biological father between 26 and 48 years of age, while the typical extrafamilial suspect characteristics mirrored that of their victims. The third phase of the analysis compares both categories of child homicide and child abuse and neglect incidents. The victims' age, gender, and birth order position appear to differ when comparing child homicide and child abuse and neglect data. The suspect profiles appear to be similar for intrafamilial homicide and child abuse and neglect. Most victims' are living with a single parent and have experienced prior abuse or neglect. Also, most child homicide and child abuse and neglect victims have similar community level characteristics. The final phase of the analysis examines the specific causes and circumstances of death and injury. Intrafamilial homicide and child abuse and neglect incidents have similar characteristics with regard to causes and circumstances of death or injury.

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