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Male Imprisoned Firesetters Have Different Characteristics than Other Imprisoned Offenders and Require Specialist Treatment

Gannon, Theresa A., Ó Ciardha, Caoilte, Barnoux, Magali F.L., Tyler, Nichola, Mozova, Katarina, Alleyne, Emma (2013) Male Imprisoned Firesetters Have Different Characteristics than Other Imprisoned Offenders and Require Specialist Treatment. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes, 76 (4). pp. 349-364. ISSN 0033-2747. (doi:10.1521/psyc.2013.76.4.349) (KAR id:35013)

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Objective: This study investigated whether a group of firesetters (n = 68) could be distinguished, psychologically, from a matched group of non-firesetting offenders (n = 68). Method: Participants completed measures examining psychological variables relating to fire, emotional/ self-regulation, social competency, self-concept, boredom proneness, and impression management. Official prison records were also examined to record offending history and other offense-related variables. A series of MANOVAs were conducted with conceptually related measures identified as the dependent variables. Follow up discriminant function and clinical cut-off score analyses were also conducted to examine the best discriminating variables for firesetters. Results: Firesetters were clearly distinguishable, statistically, from non-firesetters on three groups of conceptually related measures relating to: fire, emotional/self-regulation, and self-concept. The most successful variables for the discrimination of firesetters determined via statistical and clinical significance testing were higher levels of anger-related cognition, interest in serious fires, and identification with fire and lower levels of perceived fire safety awareness, general self-esteem, and external locus of control. Conclusions: Firesetters appear to be a specialist group of offenders who hold unique psychological characteristics. Firesetters are likely to require specialist treatment to target these psychological needs as opposed to generic offending behavior programs.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1521/psyc.2013.76.4.349
Uncontrolled keywords: firesetting, arson, theory, assessment, treatment
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Emma Alleyne
Date Deposited: 26 Aug 2013 09:42 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 12:46 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Gannon, Theresa A.:
Ó Ciardha, Caoilte:
Barnoux, Magali F.L.:
Alleyne, Emma:
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