Craig reviewed risk factors for infanticide and neonaticide, mostly for cases in England. The goal is to identify risk factors that can be used by health care workers to identify infants at risk. The author is from the Institute of Psychiatry at De Crespigny Park in London.


Neonaticide is the killing of a neonate within the first 24 hours of life.


Infanticide is the killing of an infant during the first year of life.


Risk factors for neonaticide:

(1) usually committed by a teenage mother (< 20 years of age)

(2) primipara

(3) single, with infant considered illegitimate

(4) low level of education or intelligence

(5) may be living at home with parents

(6) tends to be timid or passive

(7) tries to conceal pregnancy

(8) no or little prenatal care

(9) wanted but unable to get an abortion


Risk factors infanticide:

(1) committed by mother or father, with age > 25 years

(2) substance abuse before and/or after delivery

(3) major depression, psychosis or other major psychiatric disorder

(4) mother is usually married or living with partner

(5) abusive

(6) may practice Munchausen syndrome by proxy



• A history of previous neonaticide or infanticide would seem to be a risk factor.


To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.