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Kathryn Huang

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Matricide

Filicide: the killing of one's son or daughter (maternal filicide)

In this case study we want to examine a small number of women convicted of filicide in an attempt in finding out why they committed the crime of killing their own child. To do so we will include various different methods of investigation such as:

Brain scans: To see whether the structure of her brain is different to the structure of the brain of moms who have not committed matricide through the use of questionnaires

Interviews: With her and her family to find out more about the mothers past such as how she was as a child or what her relationships with family members.
Recruit files from recent police reports and/or medical reports to find out about the mother’s past and current medication, any metal disorders, anxiety issues etc

It allows us to see the motives behind their actions, whether it was because of lack of serotonin, thus leading to depression or whether it was something to do with depression. Seeing on whether it was cognitive, biological or social-cultural.
Allows us to study atypical (typical - a mother would not kill her own child)
Allows us to see whether any type of murder is linked to one another or due to a common factor (lack of serotonin, hormone imbalance etc)
Can open up new doors to reasons why people murder, or what causes people to murder (or even why mothers would murder their child, since unlike sociopaths, mothers have a intimate conncection to their child)
The information could help psychologists and scientists find ways to prevent matricide from happening through research or increase awareness
Brains scans means that it researcher bias and/or demand characteristics are improbable

Ethical considerations
The participant would have to agree to be interviewed and brain scanned
DIP + DR MC would be applied
The researcher would have to build a trusting relationship with the participants
51 percent of all murdered children are killed by their parents
- The interviews could be affected by researcher bias becuase if the patient is a sociopath, the researcher could be easily manipulated, also the patient has to work so closely with the participant

- Demand characteristics and social desirability may be displayed
eg: the mother never felt sorry for killing her child but could appear distraught and extremely upset to either make herself feel better, or for her to look better and less inhumane in front of the researcher, in an attempt to gain sympathy (also could be vice versa) thus demand characteristics and social desirability could be a result of this.

- May be hard to generalize because we aren't observing and interviewing every woman convicted of filicide in every country

Collection of Data
- We’ll make a graph/table of the results from the brain scans and see if we can observe any pattern
- We will look at similar past case studies to draw information and any parallels between the two
- We combine all of the triangulation of methods and compare the results
There is a social political impact - thus this case could lead the path for the development for treatment therapy and hotlines, so in the end, the ends do justify the means because this case study is helping solve a problem in society
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