Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Peter Jaffe


Background: Depression among perpetrators of domestic homicide and domestic homicide-suicide is present in upwards of 75% of cases. Between 2003 and 2011, the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC) classified 56% of perpetrators with depression in all the cases in Ontario. Methods: Secondary data analysis of 133 cases taken from the DVDRC database was conducted to determine whether differences exist between depressed and non-depressed perpetrators. Results: Cases with depressed perpetrators had significantly more risk factors present than in cases with non-depressed perpetrators. Depressed perpetrators and perpetrators who committed homicide-suicide were significantly older than non-depressed perpetrators and perpetrators of homicide. Key characteristics of depressed perpetrators include threats and attempts of suicide, perpetrator witnessed violence as a child, prior history of hostage-taking and obsessive behaviour. Conclusions: This information is essential to educate mental health professionals because they are more likely to have an opportunity to intervene in light of the presenting depression.