Review by Choice Review
Each year, according to Heide, about 65 parents most frequently fathers are killed by their children most frequently sons. A typical sequence of events is the following. The adolescent has been raised in a "dysfunctional" family a family where drugs or alcohol are used and family violence occurs (the child is abused or, less frequently, the mother is abused.) The abused child seeks help, which fails; the adolescent then feels isolated and increasingly helpless, with a sense that there is no way out. Prior to the killing, violence increases or some stressful event occurs and, sometimes because a gun may be available, murder results. In most cases there is little evidence of mental disorder in these children. Problematic, however, is the response of the justice system: should the child be prosecuted? Usually the answer is a reluctant "yes." These, then, are the central notions that can be derived from Heide's more extended and enlightening discussion, which is based on her own studies of adolescent paracide offenders and her examination of the professional literature. Undergraduate; professional; general. D. Harper; University of Rochester
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