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ERIC Number: EJ1026191
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9630
Offending Behaviours of Child and Adolescent Firesetters over a 10-Year Follow-Up
Lambie, Ian; Ioane, Julia; Randell, Isabel; Seymour, Fred
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v54 n12 p1295-1307 Dec 2013
Background: To assess the postintervention arson recidivism and other offending rates of a group of 182 firesetting children and adolescents referred to the New Zealand Fire Awareness and Intervention Program (FAIP) over a follow-up period of 10 years. To investigate predictors of offending behaviour as well as variables associated with previous involvement in firesetting behaviour and offending severity. Method: Data collected at the time of the FAIP intervention was provided by the New Zealand Fire Service and the offence histories of the sample were accessed from the New Zealand Police database (NIA). Data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results: Although the arson recidivism rate was low (2%), rates of general offending were high, with 59% of the sample having committed an offence during the follow-up period. Fifteen percent of the sample was classified as severe offenders, 40% as moderate and 4% as minor. Of offenders, 12.6% had been imprisoned during the follow-up period. Offending was predicted by experience of abuse and a previous firesetting behaviour at the time of the FAIP intervention. Living with both parents at the time of intervention decreased the probability of an individual engaging in future offending behaviour. The presence of family stress and a diagnosis of Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) were associated with previous firesetting behaviour. In addition, involvement with family violence (as a perpetrator, complainant or victim) was associated with more severe offending behaviour. Conclusions: In light of existing research, the findings of this study indicate that many firesetters are at risk for future offending and that identification of high-risk individuals is therefore an important consideration for any organization involved with firesetters. To minimize this risk, there is a need for a collaborative, multiagency approach to firesetting behaviour involving comprehensive risk assessment and appropriate referral for at-risk individuals.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A