Mental disorder or just firestarters?
Between one-third and one-half of bushfires in Australia are deliberately lit. What factors influence someone to deliberately start a fire?
The Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science at Monash University together with the Victorian Institute for Forensic Mental Health conducted a study to see if psychopathology played a role.
Drawing on data on public mental health usage in Victoria, researchers compared 1328 convicted arsonists to 421 non-firesetting offenders and 1328 matched community controls.
It showed 63% of firesetters had no connection with psychiatric services.
Study author Dr Troy McEwan