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

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