Female firesetters: gender associated psychological and psychopathological features

Journal article


Alleyne, E., Gannon, T., Ozcakir Mozova, K., Page, T. and O Ciardha, C. 2016. Female firesetters: gender associated psychological and psychopathological features. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes. 79 (4), pp. 364-378. https://doi.org/10.1080/00332747.2016.1185892
AuthorsAlleyne, E., Gannon, T., Ozcakir Mozova, K., Page, T. and O Ciardha, C.
Abstract

Objective: Female firesetters are reported to commit nearly a third of deliberately set fires, yet there are limited studies examining the characteristics that distinguish them from suitable comparison groups. The aim of this study is to compare incarcerated female firesetters with incarcerated male firesetters and female offender controls on psychopathological and psychological features that could be targeted via therapeutic interventions.

Method: Sixty-five female firesetters, 128 male firesetters, and 63 female offenders were recruited from the prison estate. Participants completed a battery of validated tools assessing psychiatric traits and psychological characteristics (i.e., inappropriate fire interest,
emotion/self-regulation, social competence, self-concept, offense-supportive attitudes, and boredom proneness) highlighted in the existing literature.

Results: Major depression and an internal locus of control distinguished female firesetters from male firesetters. Alcohol dependence, serious/problematic fire interest, and more effective anger regulation distinguished female firesetters from the female offender control group.

Conclusions: This is the first study to examine differences between female firesetters, male firesetters, and female control offenders on both psychopathological features and psychological traits. These findings highlight the gender-specific and offence-specific needs of female firesetters that clinicians need to consider when implementing programs that ensure client responsivity.

Keywords: firesetting, arson, psychopathology, female offenders

Year2016
JournalPsychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes
Journal citation79 (4), pp. 364-378
PublisherTaylor & Francis
ISSN0033-2747
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/00332747.2016.1185892
FunderEconomic and Social Research grant
Publication dates
Online20 Dec 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Oct 2016
Accepted12 Apr 2016
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/87xq1/female-firesetters-gender-associated-psychological-and-psychopathological-features

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