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Deliberate Firesetting by Children and Juveniles

Deliberate firesetting is not an uncommon activity among children and juveniles. To an extent, fire interest in childhood is part of a natural process of discovery. It is important to avoid pathologizing all firelighting that is undertaken by children. Not every child who lights a fire is destined to become a serial arsonist. At the same time, the nature of fires lit by children demands immediate attention. These fires are often lit in secret, and because children tend not to understand fire behavior, these fires can very quickly get out of control, with sometimes catastrophic consequences. This discussion examines the factors associated with juvenile firesetting. A brief overview of prevalence rates is provided before considering the nature and explanation of juvenile firesetting. Following, assessment ...

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