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The Characteristics and Treatment Needs of Adult Male Imprisoned Firesetters

Barnoux, Magali F.L. (2015) The Characteristics and Treatment Needs of Adult Male Imprisoned Firesetters. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent, University of Kent. (KAR id:51461)

Language: English
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Deliberate firesetting is an international problem which has devastating financial and human consequences. However, the area has received little attention from researchers and practicing professionals compared to other types of offending, thus hindering our ability to recommend how firesetters should be detected, assessment, managed, and treated. In particular, very little is understood about firesetting in imprisoned offenders, particularly in terms of their characteristics and treatment needs, and whether these differ between subtypes of imprisoned firesetter. Theoretical efforts explaining firesetting in imprisoned offenders have also been poor, especially in terms of their empirical adequacy and understanding how the offence process might unfold.

The purpose of this thesis was to extend current knowledge of firesetting in adult male imprisoned offenders by examining the characteristics, treatment needs, and offence processes associated with different types of imprisoned firesetter. Four studies were conducted in this thesis. Study one examined whether specialist treatment is required for all imprisoned firesetters or whether more generic treatment approaches might be sufficient for some types of imprisoned firesetters. Study two evaluated the existence of different types of imprisoned firesetter based on the most comprehensive firesetting theory to date, the Multi-Trajectory Theory of Adult Firesetting (Gannon, Ó Ciardha, Doley, & Alleyne, 2012). Finally, studies three and four examined the offence process and the potential pathways imprisoned firesetters follow to offending.

The studies in this thesis highlight there are important differences between subtypes of adult male imprisoned firesetters. Three key conclusions were drawn from the combined findings: (i) different types of imprisoned firesetter have different fire-related deficits; (ii) different types of imprisoned firesetter have different treatment needs; and (iii) the findings highlight the importance of considering different target populations and different types of firesetter in theory development and evaluation. Limitations and future research directions are considered.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Gannon, Theresa A.
Uncontrolled keywords: firesetting, arson, pyromania, offending behaviour, forensic psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2015 14:59 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2022 12:23 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Barnoux, Magali F.L..

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