A statewide case-control study of spousal homicide-suicide in older persons

Julie Malphurs, Donna Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Homicide-suicides are rare relative to suicides and homicides, but these lethal events are an emerging public health concern. They have a mortality count similar to meningitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, influenza, and viral hepatitis, and the rate may be increasing in the United States, especially among older persons. The goal of this case-control study was to identify factors that differentiate older married men who commit homicide-suicide from those who commit suicide only. Methods: A total of 20 spousal homicide-suicides involving persons age 55 years and older were ascertained in Florida between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999 from medical examiner records. Two suicide controls were matched to each homicide-suicide perpetrator by age, race, marital status, method of death, and medical examiner district. Perpetrator groups were compared on sociodemographic characteristics, medical variables, and autopsy findings. Results: Homicide-suicide perpetrators displayed significantly more domestic violence or were caregivers for their wives, in contrast to suicide perpetrators, who had health problems and were receiving care from their spouses. Both groups of perpetrators had reported depressed mood, and there were no differences in sociodemographic factors. Conclusions: Depression plays a significant role in both homicide-suicide and suicide, but the associated factors are different: we see caregiving strain in perpetrators of homicide-suicide, and living with physical health disorders as a care-recipient in men who commit suicide. Marital conflict is a significant factor in some spousal homicide-suicides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-217
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

Fingerprint

Homicide
Suicide
Case-Control Studies
Coroners and Medical Examiners
Spouses
Family Conflict
Domestic Violence
Health
Marital Status
Meningitis
Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Human Influenza
Caregivers
Hepatitis
Medical Records
Autopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

A statewide case-control study of spousal homicide-suicide in older persons. / Malphurs, Julie; Cohen, Donna.

In: American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, Vol. 13, No. 3, 01.01.2005, p. 211-217.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{ccfb37d80fd847abbf17e9096e6414f9,
title = "A statewide case-control study of spousal homicide-suicide in older persons",
abstract = "Objective: Homicide-suicides are rare relative to suicides and homicides, but these lethal events are an emerging public health concern. They have a mortality count similar to meningitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, influenza, and viral hepatitis, and the rate may be increasing in the United States, especially among older persons. The goal of this case-control study was to identify factors that differentiate older married men who commit homicide-suicide from those who commit suicide only. Methods: A total of 20 spousal homicide-suicides involving persons age 55 years and older were ascertained in Florida between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999 from medical examiner records. Two suicide controls were matched to each homicide-suicide perpetrator by age, race, marital status, method of death, and medical examiner district. Perpetrator groups were compared on sociodemographic characteristics, medical variables, and autopsy findings. Results: Homicide-suicide perpetrators displayed significantly more domestic violence or were caregivers for their wives, in contrast to suicide perpetrators, who had health problems and were receiving care from their spouses. Both groups of perpetrators had reported depressed mood, and there were no differences in sociodemographic factors. Conclusions: Depression plays a significant role in both homicide-suicide and suicide, but the associated factors are different: we see caregiving strain in perpetrators of homicide-suicide, and living with physical health disorders as a care-recipient in men who commit suicide. Marital conflict is a significant factor in some spousal homicide-suicides.",
author = "Julie Malphurs and Donna Cohen",
year = "2005",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1097/00019442-200503000-00006",
language = "English",
volume = "13",
pages = "211--217",
journal = "American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry",
issn = "1064-7481",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - A statewide case-control study of spousal homicide-suicide in older persons

AU - Malphurs, Julie

AU - Cohen, Donna

PY - 2005/1/1

Y1 - 2005/1/1

N2 - Objective: Homicide-suicides are rare relative to suicides and homicides, but these lethal events are an emerging public health concern. They have a mortality count similar to meningitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, influenza, and viral hepatitis, and the rate may be increasing in the United States, especially among older persons. The goal of this case-control study was to identify factors that differentiate older married men who commit homicide-suicide from those who commit suicide only. Methods: A total of 20 spousal homicide-suicides involving persons age 55 years and older were ascertained in Florida between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999 from medical examiner records. Two suicide controls were matched to each homicide-suicide perpetrator by age, race, marital status, method of death, and medical examiner district. Perpetrator groups were compared on sociodemographic characteristics, medical variables, and autopsy findings. Results: Homicide-suicide perpetrators displayed significantly more domestic violence or were caregivers for their wives, in contrast to suicide perpetrators, who had health problems and were receiving care from their spouses. Both groups of perpetrators had reported depressed mood, and there were no differences in sociodemographic factors. Conclusions: Depression plays a significant role in both homicide-suicide and suicide, but the associated factors are different: we see caregiving strain in perpetrators of homicide-suicide, and living with physical health disorders as a care-recipient in men who commit suicide. Marital conflict is a significant factor in some spousal homicide-suicides.

AB - Objective: Homicide-suicides are rare relative to suicides and homicides, but these lethal events are an emerging public health concern. They have a mortality count similar to meningitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, influenza, and viral hepatitis, and the rate may be increasing in the United States, especially among older persons. The goal of this case-control study was to identify factors that differentiate older married men who commit homicide-suicide from those who commit suicide only. Methods: A total of 20 spousal homicide-suicides involving persons age 55 years and older were ascertained in Florida between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 1999 from medical examiner records. Two suicide controls were matched to each homicide-suicide perpetrator by age, race, marital status, method of death, and medical examiner district. Perpetrator groups were compared on sociodemographic characteristics, medical variables, and autopsy findings. Results: Homicide-suicide perpetrators displayed significantly more domestic violence or were caregivers for their wives, in contrast to suicide perpetrators, who had health problems and were receiving care from their spouses. Both groups of perpetrators had reported depressed mood, and there were no differences in sociodemographic factors. Conclusions: Depression plays a significant role in both homicide-suicide and suicide, but the associated factors are different: we see caregiving strain in perpetrators of homicide-suicide, and living with physical health disorders as a care-recipient in men who commit suicide. Marital conflict is a significant factor in some spousal homicide-suicides.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84903176371&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84903176371&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/00019442-200503000-00006

DO - 10.1097/00019442-200503000-00006

M3 - Article

VL - 13

SP - 211

EP - 217

JO - American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

JF - American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

SN - 1064-7481

IS - 3

ER -