Medico-Legal Evaluation of Adolescent Parricide Offenders: Thirty Nine Cases from Turkey

Buyuk Y., Kurnaz G., Eke S. M., Ankarali H. C., Oral G.

JOURNAL OF FAMILY VIOLENCE, vol.26, no.1, pp.1-7, 2011 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 26 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10896-010-9336-2
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-7
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Parricide which is defined as the murder of one's parents is a rare event. We describe a consecutive series of adolescent parricide offenders referred to the Council of Forensic Medicine for medico-legal evaluation. Majority of the adolescent parricide offenders were male with a frequency of 79.5%. Age of the offenders ranged from 12 to 18 years old with a median age of 15.13. The majority of the victims were the fathers of the offenders (27; 69.2%). Firearms and cutting devices were the most frequently used weapons. The history of abuse in the family as a motive for the murder was detected in 51.2% of the offenders. The major abuse type was physical abuse. There was no history of psychiatric disorders in the majority of the offenders (37; 94.9%). After the medico-legal evaluation of the adolescent parricide offenders in the Council of Forensic Medicine, psychiatric disorder was diagnosed only in 4 offenders. Schizophrenia was the final diagnosis in 3 cases and paranoid disorder (otherwise unclassified) in only 1 offender. Our study confirmed the frequency of mental illness among adolescent parricide offenders to be very low when compared to adult offenders. Adolescent parricide offenders differ from the other perpetrators particularly in terms of motives of the murder and psychiatric illnesses. Abuse in the family seems to play an important role in these murders. Therefore, it is extremely important that individuals in the legal, criminal justice, social work, psychology, educational and other professional communities be more conscious and informed of child maltreatment and family violence and more research is essential in understanding and preventing adolescent parricide offenders.