Understanding and preventing bushfire-setting: A psychological perspective

Lauren Ducat, James R. P. Ogloff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Deliberate fire-setting costs the community millions of dollars each year and comes at a great human cost. However, little is known about who commits arson and why or how fire-setting can be prevented and treated. This article provides a brief overview of the international literature on the rates, predictors, and prevention and treatment of firesetting with a view to understanding the phenomenon in the Australian context. While much of the existing literature focuses on structural arson, current knowledge on bushfire-setting will also be explored, with some attention being paid to the issue of firefighter arson. This review highlights the current gaps in knowledge and shows that relatively little reliable information is available to guide law enforcement and mental health practitioners in their endeavours to reduce and treat the occurrence of firesetting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-356
Number of pages16
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology & Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Arson
  • Fire-setting
  • Prevention
  • Recidivism
  • Treatment

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