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NCJ Number: 168038 Find in a Library
Title: Not a False Alarm: Juvenile Arson, Incest, and Family Systems
Author(s): B Lynch
Corporate Author: United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency:
New Haven, CT 06515
Sale Source: Southern Connecticut State University
501 Crescent Street
New Haven, CT 06515
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A theoretical foundation is presented for linking juvenile firesetting and incest and considering juvenile arson as a metaphor regarding incest in family systems to enable clinicians to assess the potential for both incest and arson.
Abstract: The family therapy literature generally lacks references to juvenile arson. However, information from the Family Clinic at Southern Connecticut State University revealed that 70 of the 75 cases of child sexual abuse referred for treatment over the past 5 years had a prior history of incidents of firesetting. Fascination with fire or flames was reported in the other five cases. One case involved a four-generational pattern of extreme fascination with fire watching. The metaphors linking juvenile arson to incest have origins in etymology, mythology, literature, and the Bible. These metaphors and case examples from clinical experience have three treatment implications. First, it is essential to treat the entire family system. Second, it is more likely that the firesetters are signaling for help for a sibling and the entire family rather than being incest victims themselves. Third, dysfunctional hierarchical structures should be a major focus of interventions related to firesetting. 9 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Abused children; Arson; Child abuse detection; Incest; Juvenile fire setters
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