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A preliminary firesetting offence chain for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities

Collins, Josephine, Barnoux, Magali F.L., Langdon, Peter E. (2023) A preliminary firesetting offence chain for adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 48 (2). pp. 146-160. ISSN 1366-8250. (doi:10.3109/13668250.2022.2037186) (KAR id:93678)


Background: The theoretical understanding of firesetting behaviour has predominantly been developed with men in prisons or psychiatric hospitals without neurodevelopmental disabilities. Consequently, there is a lack of evidence regarding the validity of current theory when applied to adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism. Method: Thirteen adults in England with intellectual and other developmental disabilities were interviewed about the affective, cognitive, behavioural, and contextual factors leading up to and surrounding a recorded firesetting incident. Interviews were analysed using a Grounded Theory approach. Results: The resulting model consists of four phases: (1) background, (2) early adulthood, (3) preoffence period, and (4) offence, and post offence period. Conclusion: The model accounts for unique precursors to firesetting including mental health deterioration, poor problem solving, and new motivations for firesetting. Unlike other offence chain theories, the significance of post-offence behaviour and cognitions are highlighted.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3109/13668250.2022.2037186
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: University of Kent (
Depositing User: Josephine Chishty-Collins
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2022 16:05 UTC
Last Modified: 10 May 2023 08:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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