Risk factors for recidivistic arson in adult offenders

Rebekah Doley, Kenneth Fineman, Katarina Fritzon, Mairead Dolan, Troy E. McEwan

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Abstract

This article reviews the current literature on known risk factors for recidivistic arson, with a particular focus on factors that could be used to differentiate serial from "oneoff" arson offenders. The relevance of risk factors for general reoffending to recidivistic arson is discussed, including the role of criminal history, mental illness, and sociodemographic factors. The specific roles of offence-related affect, cognitions, and the offender's interest in fire are considered, with recommendations for how theories from other areas of forensic psychology, such as the sex offender assessment and treatment literature, might be applied to the issue of deliberate fire-setting. Finally, protective factors are briefly discussed and the need for a structured risk assessment tool for deliberate firsetters is canvassed. Given that research into risk and recidivism in firesetting is underdeveloped, suggestions are made throughout the review for the focus of future research into risk factors for serial arson.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409-423
Number of pages15
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

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Firesetting Behavior
offender
forensic psychology
sociodemographic factors
mental illness
risk assessment
Cognition
cognition
offense
Psychology
history
Research

Cite this

Doley, Rebekah ; Fineman, Kenneth ; Fritzon, Katarina ; Dolan, Mairead ; McEwan, Troy E. / Risk factors for recidivistic arson in adult offenders. In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. 2011 ; Vol. 18, No. 3. pp. 409-423.
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Risk factors for recidivistic arson in adult offenders. / Doley, Rebekah; Fineman, Kenneth; Fritzon, Katarina; Dolan, Mairead; McEwan, Troy E.

In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 18, No. 3, 08.2011, p. 409-423.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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