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Title: An evaluation of mentally disordered firesetters
Author: Tyler, Nichola
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 4618
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2014
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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.
Supervisor: Gannon, Theresa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine ; RA790 Mental health