Master of Public Health (MPH)
Environmental and Occupational Health
First Committee Member
Michelle Chino, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
Firesetting is a complex behavior that spans a wide range of developmental stages in childhood and adolescence and involves varying motivations and intents. A better understanding of this destructive behavior is critical to developing strategies to control its devastating effects. The purpose of this research project was to identify potential predictors of juvenile firesetting behavior by studying youth who were enrolled in a regional firesetting intervention program. Data collected from firesetting assessment instruments completed by parents or guardians of program participants were examined. In the analyses, special emphasis was placed on evaluating associations between juvenile firesetting behavior and the socioeconomic status of the family; family structure and functioning; and select characteristics of conduct disorder or antisociality among children and adolescents enrolled in the program. Statistically significant findings in two areas of the study support empirical evidence reported in the extant literature. Among youth enrolled in the program, results indicate that those who demonstrated increased interest in fire were more likely to engage in more fire-related incidents. The second finding was that youth who exhibited behaviors characteristic of conduct disorder or antisociality were also more likely to be involved in more firesetting events. Additional research into developing appropriate assessment tools and intervention strategies is necessary.
Antisocial behavior; Conduct disorders in children; Fire behavior in children; Fireplay; Firesetting behavior; Firesetting intervention programs; Impulse control disorders in children; Juvenile firesetting; Pyromania in children
Child Psychology | Developmental Psychology | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Personality and Social Contexts | Public Health
Britt, Mary Ellen, "Playing with fire or arson? Identifying predictors of juvenile firesetting behavior" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 983.