Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass murderers

Allely, C. S., Minnis, H. , Thompson, L. , Wilson, P. and Gillberg, C. (2014) Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass murderers. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 19(3), pp. 288-301. (doi:10.1016/j.avb.2014.04.004)

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Abstract

Multiple and serial murders are rare events that have a very profound societal impact. We have conducted a systematic review, following PRISMA guidelines, of both the peer reviewed literature and of journalistic and legal sources regarding mass and serial killings. Our findings tentatively indicate that these extreme forms of violence may be a result of a highly complex interaction of biological, psychological and sociological factors and that, potentially, a significant proportion of mass or serial killers may have had neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder or head injury. Research into multiple and serial murder is in its infancy: there is a lack of rigorous studies and most of the literature is anecdotal and speculative. Specific future study of the potential role of neurodevelopmental disorders in multiple and serial murder is warranted and, due to the rarity of these events, innovative research techniques may be required.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wilson, Dr Philip and Minnis, Professor Helen and Thompson, Dr Lucy and Allely, Dr Clare and Gillberg, Professor Christopher
Authors: Allely, C. S., Minnis, H., Thompson, L., Wilson, P., and Gillberg, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Aggression and Violent Behavior
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1359-1789
ISSN (Online):1359-1789
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in Aggression and Violent Behavior 19(3):288-301
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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