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An Evaluation of Mentally Disordered Firesetters

Tyler, Nichola (2014) An Evaluation of Mentally Disordered Firesetters. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.47911) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:47911)

Language: English

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Deliberate firesetting causes a significant cost to society in terms of human life and economic loss. However, compared to other areas of offending, firesetting is one area that has received relatively little attention by academics and practitioners in both the psychiatric and psychological literature. Even though a significant proportion of existing research has been conducted with psychiatric populations little is understood about firesetting by mentally disordered offenders, particularly in terms of their characteristics, risk factors, offence process, and treatment.

The purpose of this thesis was to extend current knowledge of mentally disordered firesetters by exploring the offence process, treatment needs, and effectiveness of treatment with this population. Four exploratory studies were conducted to address this. Study one examined the characteristics of male and female mentally disordered firesetters in comparison to non-firesetting mentally disordered offenders and also the ability of these characteristics to predict offence status (firesetter or non-firesetter) and repeat firesetting. Studies two and three examined the offence process and the pathways mentally disordered firesetters follow to offending. Finally, study four evaluated the effectiveness of the first standardised treatment programme for male and female mentally disordered firesetters.

The studies in this thesis highlighted the importance of fire interest in distinguishing between firesetters and non-firesetters and also for the predicting of repeat firesetting. Further, the development of fire-related risk factors appeared to be important for influencing the offence process for a sub-group of mentally disordered firesetters. The role of mental health in the offence process was also highlighted as being important. Finally, evidence was found to support the need for specialist interventions examining fire related factors with mentally disordered firesetters.

The results of all four studies are discussed in terms of the assessment and treatment of mentally disordered firesetters and the clinical implications and utility of the findings are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Gannon, Theresa
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.47911
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 24/05/22
Uncontrolled keywords: firesetting, arson, mentally disordered offenders, forensic mental health, forensic psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA1001 Forensic medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA790 Mental health
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 11:00 UTC
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2022 09:07 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Tyler, Nichola.

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