06 October 2016
A University of Kent study that generated ground-breaking advances in theory, research, and treatments of firesetting has been published on BPS Impact.
With the aid of a 2011 ESRC grant University of Kent researchers conducted the world’s first controlled study examining the clinical treatment needs of firesetters versus other offenders.
The results demonstrated that firesetters have unique psychological characteristics that require attention in theory and treatment, and point to fire-specific and general psychological factors that need to be targeted in order to change their behaviour. The most powerful differentiating feature of firesetters was that they experienced more angry thoughts than other offenders. Their self-esteem and sense of control were also lower.
Building on this research, the researchers published the first comprehensive theory of firesetting (Multi-Trajectory Theory of Adult Firesetting (M-TTAF). The assessment and treatment programmes developed now play a central role in the care, sentence planning and parole decisions for firesetters in the UK and Australia.