skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 235920 Find in a Library
Title: Empirically Derived Classification System for Juvenile Firesetters
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:38  Issue:8  Dated:August 2011  Pages:796-817
Author(s): Gianneta Del Bove; Sherri Mackay
Date Published: August 2011
Page Count: 22
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the classification of juvenile firesetters.
Abstract: Despite the heterogeneity of juvenile firesetters, the literature lacks empirically based classification systems. Existing typologies have been descriptive, arbitrarily segregate subtypes based on univariate characteristics, and lack empirical validation. In the present investigation, cluster analysis was used to develop a classification of juvenile firesetters based on both fire-specific and general individual and environmental variables associated to firesetting severity and recidivism. Participants included 240 firesetters aged 4 to 17 and primary caretakers who were referred to The Arson Prevention Program for Children. Findings indicate that juvenile firesetters are a heterogeneous group that can be empirically separated into conventional-limited, home-instability-moderate, and multi-risk-persistent firesetters. These subtypes differ on fire-specific characteristics, individual and environmental variables, and firesetting recidivism and general outcome. The implications of this classification system for conducting fire-risk assessments and implementing prevention and treatment strategies are also discussed. (Published Abstract)
Main Term(s): Juvenile fire setters
Index Term(s): Assessment (juvenile); Juvenile offender classification; Juvenile treatment methods; Risk taking behavior
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.