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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Literature Review: Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serial killers and mass murderers


In the research article “Neurodevelopmental and psychosocial risk factors in serialkillers and mass murderers” by Allely et. al. (2014), the researchers explored the prevalenceof autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), head injuries, and psychosocial stressors in serial killersand mass murderers. They studied a sample size of 239 killers and organized the informationin data tables and statistics. Mass and serial killings are rare, which makes it hard to analysecases and earlier studies as they were not precise and lacked rigor (Allely et al, 2014). Thisarticle had limitations such as only having data from places in the United States and havingthe article available only in English. The strengths of the journal article were includingmultiple statistics and data tables to support their claims. The information provided in thisarticle can lead to further research on more neurodevelopmental and psychosocial disordersand childhood factors that can influence violent behaviour.

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