Firesetting in the adult psychiatric population

Hosp Community Psychiatry. 1987 May;38(5):501-6. doi: 10.1176/ps.38.5.501.


Firesetting by adult psychiatric patients is a symptom found in many primary disorders; it is rarely a reflection of the classic disorder, pyromania, as historically defined. The author emphasizes the importance of clinically addressing firesetting behavior and presents six case examples that illustrate the association of firesetting behavior with schizophrenic, affective, and personality disorders as well as with alcohol abuse and mental retardation. Current understanding of the phenomenon indicates that firesetters have significant social deficits, and successful therapeutic interventions based on a social learning model are beginning to be documented.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / complications
  • Assertiveness
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Disruptive, Impulse Control, and Conduct Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Firesetting Behavior / complications
  • Firesetting Behavior / psychology*
  • Firesetting Behavior / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / complications
  • Personality Disorders / complications
  • Schizophrenia / complications