Thinking About The Complexity and Multiple Causes of Behavior

Read the transcript below and watch this video Andrea Yates’ murder of her five children. Then, using the psychological perspectives discussed in the chapter one materials, try to explain what you believe to be the causes of Andrea Yates’ murder of her children. Be sure to properly cite your work. Your response should be ½ to 1 page in length and should be proofed for spelling and grammar errors.

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On June 20, 2001, after her husband had left for work, Andrea Yates, a Houston mother, drowned her five children in the family bathtub. She told police that she drowned the children to save them from burning in hell. Yates was sent to a hospital, not prison. Under Texas law, she will be under the jurisdiction of District Judge Belinda Hill, who oversaw both trials, for the rest of her life. Yates could be released only if Hill finds that she is mentally competent and no longer a danger to herself or others.

At the time she killed her children, Andrea believed she was possessed and that the sign of Satan (666) was marked on her scalp. She told the police that her children “weren’t developing correctly” and that drowning them was the only way to save them. Andrea, her sister, and two brothers were all on antidepressants. Diagnosed as suffering from postpartum depression with psychosis, she had been taken off her antipsychotic medication about a month before the children’s deaths.

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