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Research and Practice in Adolescent Firesetting

Sherri MacKay, Alan Feldberg, Ashley K. Ward & Peter Marton

Criminal Justice and Behavior; June 2012 vol. 39 no. 6 842-864



Firesetting by juveniles results in billions of dollars of property loss, thousands of burn injuries, and hundreds of deaths each year. A review that specifically focuses on adolescents' role in this devastating and costly behavior is not available. To address this gap, the current article reviews the past 30+ years of literature on adolescent firesetters, examining topics such as models of firesetting behavior, risk factors and correlates of adolescent firesetting, diagnostic issues, assessment tools and approaches, and current interventions. The article concludes with a discussion of goals for the field, including the development of relevant criteria for pathological firesetting.



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