Protective and Risk Factors of Women Who Have Killed Their Children in the State of Minnesota


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper




This study examined the protective and risk factors of filicidal mothers in the State of Minnesota. Case studies of women incarcerated for filicide (N=19) were studied to identified to find what factors were prevalent when they committed their crimes. The researcher predicted that the women with the most risk factors would be filicidal. Case studies of the women were developed using multiple sources of material to include: legal indictment documents, legal pleadings, legal motions, legal court orders, trial transcripts, jury verdicts, associated legal materials, court trial transcripts, newspaper articles and other research and media documents. After obtaining those documents the case studies were applied to the Meyer and Oberman (2001) maternal filicidal classification system and cross-analyzed with Hill-Collins (2000) Intersectionality framework. The Intersectionality framework was used to identify the potential risk and protective factors. It has been shown that a majority of the women had a mental illness that was either diagnosed or undiagnosed, at the time of the crime. Additionally, many of the women had histories that included, poverty, abuse, divorce, single parenthood, special needs children and unemployment.


protective factors, risk factors, mothers, filicide, children, murder, Minnesota

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.