The Relationship between Homicide and Suicide: A narrative and conceptual review of violent death

  • Corey B Bills Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California San Francisco


In this paper, we provide a narrative review of the theoretical discourse and empiric research on the relationship between homicide and suicide.Understanding of homicide and suicide has evolved from religious condemnation during the Middle Ages, to medicalization in the 1800s, and socialization in the 1900s. There is a long historical tradition of treating homicide and suicide as a single phenomenon. Contemporary thought, the stream analogy, posits that homicide and suicide are acts of violence, differentiated only by the direction of aggression. Empiric research has provided modest evidence supporting the stream analogy theory. A more comprehensive framework that incorporates cultural domains is needed to advance the research field on homicide and suicide.
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