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Firesetting and arson in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic PRISMA review

Clare Sarah Allely (School of Health Sciences, The University of Salford, Salford, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour

ISSN: 2050-8824

Article publication date: 30 August 2019

Issue publication date: 3 December 2019

225

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify studies which have investigated arson or firesetting in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic PRISMA review was conducted.

Findings

The present review highlighted the relatively little research that has been conducted to date exploring firesetting or arson in individuals with ASD. In sum, 11 papers were identified in the present review study: 6 were case studies and 5 were empirical studies. The case studies identified in the review highlighted some of the ASD symptomology which may contribute to this type of criminal behaviour. Also, the empirical studies indicate that there is a higher prevalence of individuals with ASD who engage in such criminal behaviours.

Research limitations/implications

There is an urgent need for further empirical research in this area and for there to be an increased awareness and understanding of how ASD can contribute to arson and firesetting in both a legal and clinical context.

Originality/value

This is the first review, to the author’s knowledge, to explore the literature on firesetting or arson in individuals with ASD.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflicts of interest: there are no conflicts of interest to declare. This paper was unfunded.

Citation

Allely, C.S. (2019), "Firesetting and arson in individuals with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic PRISMA review", Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 89-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIDOB-11-2018-0014

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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