The increase in juvenile crime related arson is particularly troubling. One theory suggest that undiagnosed and untreated conduct disorder in early childhood may be the progenitors in the creation of an arsonist:
From a diagnostic perspective, firesetting is a strong predictor of the continuation of conduct disorder and, in field trials, was found to be the fourth most discriminating behavior for this diagnosis among 14 diagnostic criteria, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. On clinical measures, psychiatrically referred firesetters have been found to exhibit more pronounced delinquent and hyperactive behaviors more extreme externalizing symptoms (e.g., aggression) associated with conduct disorder, fewer internalizing symptoms and less social skill than their nonfiresetting peers, although some studies have not reported differences in aggression or general psychopathology (Kolko 191)
However, it has been noted that many children who have started fires do not always show any signs of...
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