Siblicide: The Psychology of Sibling Homicide

Relva, Inês and Khan, Roxanne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-3485-2450 (2020) Siblicide: The Psychology of Sibling Homicide. In: Handbook of Interpersonal Violence across the Lifespan. Springer Nature, Switzerland, pp. 1-19. ISBN 978-3-319-89998-5

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Siblicide has been overlooked in both the family violence literature and homicide studies. This is unsurprising as sibling abuse research in general has remained on the periphery until recently, and since then has tended to focus on non-lethal conflict, bullying or bi-directional aggression. This chapter examines the available literature to present a comprehensive overview of this poorly understood phenomenon. We report on prevalence rates, the sociodemographic context of offenses and the patterns and dynamics that underpin offender and victim characteristics - including age, birth order, gender, genetic-relatedness, race and cultural collectivism. Individual risk factors such as the influence of psychopathology and substance use are explored, as well the impact of developmental disorders, that is, Autism and Asperger’s syndrome. The chapter will conclude by examining sibling homicide in the context of sociobiological and psychoanalytical perspectives.

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