Neurodevelopmental risk factors in mass murderers

Göteborg University and Gilbergcentrum, Sweden, has published a systematic review regarding Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass murderers.

The review is by C. S. Allely; H. Minnis; L. Thompson; P. Wilson and Christopher Gillberg (Gillbergcentrum).

The findings tentatively indicate that these extreme forms of violence may be a result of a highly complex interaction of biological, psychological and sociological factors and that, potentially, a significant proportion of mass or serial killers may have had neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder or head injury.

The systematic review is conducted according to PRISMA guidelines, of both the peer reviewed literature and of journalistic and legal sources regarding mass and serial killings.

The review states that research into multiple and serial murders is in its infancy: there is a lack of rigorous studies and most of the literature is anecdotal and speculative. Specific future study of the potential role of neurodevelopmental disorders in multiple and serial murders is warranted and, due to the rarity of these events, innovative research techniques may be required.

The review is published by the authors 2014. Go to the text here.


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