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Filicide-Suicide Ideation among Taiwanese Parents with School-Aged Children: Prevalence and Associated Factors

NCJ Number
Child Abuse and Neglect Volume: 38 Issue: 3 Dated: March 2014 Pages: 468-478
Hsi-Sheng Wei; Ji-Kang Chen
Date Published
March 2014
11 pages
This study examined the prevalence of and factors related to filicide-suicide ideation (parents' thoughts of killing a child followed by suicide) among Taiwanese parents with school-aged children.
Findings showed that 14.6 percent of the 1,564 Taiwanese parents participating in the study reported having filicide-suicide ideation during the past year. Parents with a higher family income and better financial stability were at lower risk of filicide-suicide ideation. A positive association was found between depression and filicide-suicide ideation, but showed an opposite tendency between hostility and such thoughts. Thus, parents at risk of filicide-suicide ideation do not act aggressively or engage in violent behavior. Parents' belief in traditional family values had a positive effect on filicide-suicide ideation, as did conflict with the spouse. Demographic factors, including age, gender, and ethnicity, had no significant effect on filicide-suicide ideation. For this study a random sample of 1,564 parents were recruited from 21 elementary schools in a rural area of Taiwan. Potential risk factors, including demographics, family finances, psychological maladjustment, family interaction, and cultural beliefs were further examined using a hierarchical logistic regression. The authors note that under rapidly changing economic and social conditions, a strict adherence to traditional family values without adjustment and reflection may lead to emotional stress that is unbearable to some parents. How to retain the resilience and strength inherent in Chinese cultural beliefs while addressing the potential burden imposed on parents under adverse social and economic conditions is the challenge that professionals and policymakers in Taiwan must address. 2 tables and 69 references